According to fellow royal commentator Duncan Larcombe, Sophie has emerged as the Queen’s “unlikely rock” during a time of chaos and grief.
“Since the duke’s death in April, Sophie has driven the 10 miles [17km] from her Bagshot Park home to Windsor Castle every few days and most weekends,” Duncan told The Sun.
“And on the days she can’t get there in person, the Countess of Wessex has made a point of calling her mother-in-law at least once a day.”
A palace insider tells us: “Lately Sophie has been the go-to for various personal matters as well as a sounding board for certain decisions about the monarchy, which she’s perfect for since she’s impartial and has no real agenda or issues with the likes of the Sussexes or the Yorks – she’s also incredibly understated and hard-working, albeit beneath the radar.
“Sophie definitely cherishes every moment she gets with the Queen. She’s never let her down.”
Unlike the other wives of senior royals, Sophie was not given the title of duchess following Prince Edward’s decision to take a different royal title upon their marriage.
He was famously so enamoured by the character Lord Wessex from the 1998 movie Shakespeare in Love that he asked for the same title – and his mother generously agreed.
Earlier this year it was revealed that Sophie and Edward will now be stepping up their quota of royal duties to fill the void left by the exit of Prince Harry and Meghan.
Speaking to the Telegraph magazine, the couple admitted they were “flattered” to be finally emerging from the shadows, even though Sophie has already been one of the hardest-working royals during the coronavirus pandemic.
From her efforts volunteering to help prepare meals for NHS staff to putting together care packages for the homeless, the royal family’s official Twitter account has provided regular updates about her tireless zeal for good causes. The Countess of Wessex is also patron of more than 70 organisations and carries out in the region of 240 official royal engagements each year.
“I expect to see Sophie take on more royal duties and several of Philip’s patronages,” Phil adds.
“She already has quite a workload but now the public are starting to appreciate her more and realise what a valuable asset she is to the royal family. She is now seen as a safe pair of hands, a now-not-so-secret weapon.
“Sophie has brought out the best in Prince Edward. They are devoted parents and have two lovely children, who could also have bright royal futures.”
Meanwhile, as tensions between the Cambridges and Sussexes continues to boil over, palace insiders say Sophie had actually offered to help Meghan navigate her way in the firm, only to be rejected.
“I have been told that Kate — and the Countess of Wessex — both repeatedly ‘reached out’ to the Duchess [of Sussex], particularly after she voiced her unhappiness on a television documentary,” royal commentator Rebecca English previously tweeted. “But they were both rebuffed.”
In April 2019, fellow royal watcher Katie Nicholl also claimed that the Queen had earmarked Sophie as a mentor for Meghan.
“The two are understood to get along well,” Katie said at the time.
“The pair share similar backgrounds, as Sophie, like Meghan, gave up a successful career [in PR] to marry into the royal family, so is in a position to help Meghan.”
Now, with Harry and Meghan off the scene, and Prince Andrew sidelined, the Wessex family have a big role to play in shaping the future of the monarchy.
And while Sophie is only now finally gaining the recognition and higher profile she deserves after quietly working in the background for years, she herself doesn’t see it that way. As she herself joked to the Telegraph about her “new” workload, “What did people think we were doing beforehand?”
For more on the Royal Family pick up the latest copy of New Idea's Royal Monthly.