Before becoming one of the model couples of the British royal family, Sophie and Edward of Wessex had to face many obstacles, including rumors about the sexuality of the youngest of the Queen.
They are one of the most stable couples in the British royal family. But like all fairy tales, Sophie of Wessex and Prince Edward, the youngest of Queen Elizabeth II, had to face many obstacles before seeing their love triumph. From now on parents of Louise (16) and James (12), the two spouses knew demonstrate their usefulness during the Covid-19 epidemic, by multiplying initiatives. Much appreciated, however, the couple had to face skepticism and suspicion during their first years together.. Indeed, some unscrupulous media have resorted to scandalous practices and have not hesitated to spread certain rumors.
Still, it all seemed to have started auspiciously. In the summer of 1993, Edward meets the one who still answers to the name of Sophie Rhys-Jones, during a tennis tournament. The two young people first met for the first time in 1987, but the young wolf was then going out with a friend of the future countess. Six years later, luck would have it that Sophie replaces Sue Baker at the last moment, the tennis champion who was to present the prizes with the prince. The young woman, who works for the agency responsible for the promotion of this event, does not take long to fall in love with her prince and become his official companion.
The “Sophie Gate” scandal
“You wouldn’t notice her in a crowd“, the Queen is said to have once said to her sister Margaret, speaking of Sophie. It must be said that the press secretary seems the opposite of his other daughters-in-law: Diana and Sarah Ferguson. More discreet than his peers, Sophie Rhys-Jones is admittedly modern and independent, but comes from a family without history, originally from Kent. The young woman testifies to a smooth journey. No scandal on the horizon. In the spirit of the Crown, Sophie Rhys-Jones, despite her “bland” image, seems better prepared than her cronies to face royal life.
Edward and Sophie from Wessex in 2001 ALPHA AGENCY / BESTIMAGEHowever, the one who is then thirty years must face persistent rumors about her couple. According to the British press, his dear and tender would actually be homosexual. Noises fed by Edward’s little emotional past, but not only. The couple took more than five years before getting engaged, between semi-clandestinity, ultimatums and ruptures, and struggles to have children. The situation became critical in 2001, when the “Sophie Gate”. A journalist from a former tabloid, News of The World (whose publication has stopped due to illegal wiretapping practices), disguised as an Arab sheikh, traps the Queen’s daughter-in-law.
“I can tell you he’s not homosexual”
At the time, Sophie from Wessex had a PR agency, RHJ, and thought she was talking to a businessman in Dubai. Believing to win a big contract, she confides – risky – to the usurper. She thus finds Tony Blair, the Prime Minister of the time, “too presidential”, and his wife Cherie “awful, really awful “. Above all, she takes the wrong step too. During the conversation she dares to call the Queen “Old”. Crime of lèse-majesté. Sophie is banned, despite her letters of apology to those concerned. For its part, Buckingham Palace buys the silence of News of the World against an interview with Sophie, during which she agrees to dispel the rumors of homosexuality about Edward.
“I can tell you he’s not homosexual“, affirms the countess, married since 1999 to the youngest of the Queen. In this forced interview, she evokes her desire to have children, and considers, if necessary, to resort to “to in vitro fertilization”. Despite the scandal, Prince Edward holds on and does not abandon his wife. Because the same year, the young woman is operated urgently for an ectopic pregnancy. Intervention from which she will hardly recover. The couple’s fight to have children will continue with Lady Louise’s difficult childbirth in 2003. Sophie then finds herself between life and death, while her premature baby girl spends the first two weeks of her life in intensive care. Painful memories that are now a thing of the past for the lovely family of Sophie and Edward of Wessex.
Prince Edward and Sophie, accompanied by their two children, James and Louise, on September 20, 2020, during Operation Great British Beach Clean, the cleaning of a beach in Portsmouth. AGENCE / BESTIMAGE