“The departure of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex from the UK, and the effective retirement of the Duke of York, has left a major hole in the roster of Royal family members available to carry out public duties, and the Countess has been groomed to step out of the shadows in the year since Megxit.”
Sophie’s husband and the Queen and Prince Philip’s youngest child, Prince Edward, is also set to step up and will acquire the title of Duke of Edinburgh when Prince Charles eventually ascends to the throne.
But according to Mr Rayner, Her Majesty’s confidence in Sophie was displayed when the Countess “was sanctioned to speak to the media about how the sovereign was coping the day after the Duke of Edinburgh’s death.”
He added: “She followed up the next day by describing the Duke’s final moments, and made regular visits to Windsor to comfort the Queen from her home in Bagshot Park, around 10 miles away.”
The newspaper editor highlighted the Countess’ seat during the Duke’s funeral, labelling it a “prime position”.
She was seated almost opposite the Monarch and closer to her than Prince Edward.
According to a fashion expert, Sophie has been preparing to assume more responsibilities and her style reflected it.