Quarter Century of Quiet Majesty: Prince Edward and Duchess Sophie Celebrate 25 Years of Marriage as Royals' Best-Kept Secret

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Source: MEGA

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh at the Garter ceremony, June 17, 2024.

Jun. 20 2024, Published 12:13 p.m. ET

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Prince Edward and Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on Wednesday, June 19. The duo are also being praised for dedicating a quarter-century of their lives to the monarchy.

"Understated, unshowy, and as down-to-earth as you can be when you are born into the royal family," veteran royal reporter Jennie Bond stated when describing the now senior royals.

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prince edward
Source: MEGA

Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones share a laugh during their engagement interview, January 6, 1999.

"That's how Edward and Sophie are today ... and it's how they were 25 years ago on their relatively understated wedding day at Windsor," she added.

Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones first crossed paths in 1987, during a tennis event organized by the It's a Royal Knockout prince. However, their romantic relationship didn't begin until they met again in 1993 at a charity event. At that time, Sophie was working in public relations, and their mutual interests and values helped them establish a strong connection. During this era, Rhys-Jones also met and frequently interacted with what the press labeled her "look-alike," Diana, Princess of Wales.

Their bond grew over the years, leading to their engagement in January 1999. The couple married on June 19, 1999, in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. Their wedding was more private than typical royal ceremonies, reflecting their preference for a low-key lifestyle.

Since their marriage, Prince Edward and Sophie have engaged in various royal duties and charitable activities. They have two children: Lady Louise Windsor, 20, and James, Earl of Wessex,16.

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Source: MEGA

The Earl and Countess of Wessex process from St George's Chapel after their marriage, June 19, 1999.

Although consistently praised for their "quiet and dedicated" royal work ethic, the pair have not been scandal-free over the last 25 years.

In 2001, after it was revealed the Earl and Countess of Wessex would maintain "regular working careers," Sophie was caught in a "sting" operation by the now-defunct News of the World publication, where an undercover reporter posing as a sheik recorded her making indiscreet comments about politicians and other public figures. She was also accused of using her royal status to promote her public relations firm, R-JH Public Relations.

The following year, Prince Edward faced criticism for his involvement in Ardent Productions, a television production company he founded. The company was accused of exploiting his royal connections, particularly when it attempted to film Prince William at school, prompting allegations of invasion of privacy and causing tension within the royal family.

Both decided to work full-time for Queen Elizabeth II after the scandals.

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Source: MEGA

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh with Lady Louise Windsor on the Buckingham Palace balcony, June 15, 2024.

The late Queen was said to have grown fond of Sophie, who reportedly became her "favorite daughter-in-law." The current King is also said to feel "proud" of Edward and Sophie, and equally pleased with his decision to make them senior royals.

"Sophie is a natural, humble woman — clearly still very much in love with her husband and a woman who has grown into her role without fuss or fanfare," Bond added.

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Source: MEGA

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip with their youngest child Prince Edward, c.1970s.

Source: TRO

Daily Express reported on Bond's comments.

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