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Happy Birthday Sophie!

The Earl and Countess of Wessex at Royal Ascot in 2019. Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty

The Countess of Wessex celebrates her 55th Birthday today. While she will be working on her big day (The Earl and Countess of Wessex will be joining other senior royals at Buckingham Palace for a reception celebrating the U.K.-Africa Investment) she will hopefully have a quiet celebration with her family later tonight. Sending lots of birthday wishes to Sophie and hoping she has a wonderful day.

To celebrate, here are ten of my favorite moments from the Countess of Wessex through the years.

10. Commonwealth Fashion Exchange

As it has been well established, I absolutely love seeing members of the Royal Family together and during the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange, the Countess of Wessex was not only joined by the Duchess of Cambridge but by fashion royalty, Anna Wintour. The Duchess and Countess met with Artisans and Designers to see thee work that the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange does in creating partnerships between established and up-an-coming designers across 52 Commonwealth Countries.

9. The Countess of Wessex at Royal Ascot

The Countess of Wessex always looks phenomenal at the annual Royal Ascot horse race but 2019 was a definite turning point in her royal style. Sophie chose a new style at Royal Ascot, wearing a blue flare legged jumpsuit for the horse race. She looked incredible and it was a definite style highlight of the year for me.

The Countess of Wessex also rocked a bolder flower print on her second day at Ascot. the floral pattern coordinated with her fascinator which was easy to see in the portraits taken by Chris Jackson for their 20th Anniversary. Royals have always evolved their styles, finding what is most flattering for them personally as well as bringing certain trendier pieces in and 2019 seemed to be a fashion turning point for several Royal Women, including the Countess of Wessex.

8. The Countess of Wessex with foreign Royals

As a representative of the Queen, The Countess of Wessex has met several other members of Royalty from across the globe. She has attended the wedding of Prince Carl Philip, shared carriages with other Royals on Garter Day and attended State Dinners for almost twenty years for foreign heads of state. The Queen has displayed her confidence in Sophie time and time again, giving her prominent places at important governmental and state functions.

7. Travels through the Commonwealth

2019 saw the Countess of Wessex spending more time abroad in commonwealth countries for her work on several female centered initiatives. In 2019 she visited India, Kosovo, Norway and Kenya. It was also announced today that the Sophie will visit Sierra Leone later this week. Her visits to foreign countries is done in addition to her work domestically across the United Kingdom.

6. Work with the Blind

Since her own daughter, Lady Louise, was born with esotropia (a condition where one or both eyes turn inwards) The Countess has worked with blind community and the medical community to prevent avoidable blindness. She visited India in 2019 to see the work the Queens Silver Jubilee trust was doing in preventing avoidable blindness in infants. The countess also works with Blind Veterans U.K. to support veterans with partial or total sight loss.

5. Sophie and Lady Louise

Lady Louise is the elder child of the Earl and Countess of Wessex and at only 16 has already begun accompanying her mother on some official and unofficial visits to charities and organizations across the U.K. Typically, Lady Louise comes on sports or animal centered visits (such as her appearance at the National Sports Centre or the Wessex family's visit to eh Zoo last summer). It is clear the mother-daughter duo are very close and seem to share several common interests such as horseback riding.

4. The Countess of Wessex and the Queen

It is well known that the Queen and Countess of Wessex have a special relationship, Sophie is often seen riding with the Queen to church and the Wessex family spend part of their summer holiday in Balmoral with the Queen. During what the queen described as a "bumpy" year in 2019, Sophie's support for the Queen, and the Queens reliance on her daughter-in-law, became even more clear.

3. Work with the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative

While Sophie has worked on female centered and driven causes for a number of years, her work on the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI) has shown her passion for helping women in a new way. The Countess of Wessex has now traveled to several countries to speak with survivors of sexual violence and is working with several groups to tackle the root of this problem, which includes making sure women are part of peace building in order to ensure that the violence cycle does not continue.

2. Wedding of Earl and Countess of Wessex

Royal Weddings are usually large lavish affairs but The Earl and Countess of Wessex took a different approach to Prince Edwards siblings, opting for a smaller and more private wedding. They were married at Windsor Castle in 1999 after having met earlier in the decade and the couple enjoyed a long courtship before their marriage. Edward is the only one of the Queens children that has not divorced and, to me, it would seem in part because of the way the pair handled their early years and their wedding which allowed them to build a strong foundation for the rest of their lives.

1. Lady Louise and James Viscount Severn

Sophie has two children, Lady Louise and James Viscount Severn and it is abundantly clear that her children are her number one priority. The family live in a private residence in Bagshot park with both of her children largely staying out of the media spotlight in their early years. The family of four now attend Church publicly every Christmas, attend the Trooping the Colour parade and take a documented family outing about once a year but otherwise, they are permitted to have largely normal lives, just as Sophie has said she wanted for her children.

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