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PRINCE HARRY has been snubbed in terms of royal “precedence”, because Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Prince Edward “come before” him. Harry, 37, and his wife Meghan Markle, 40, dramatically stepped down from their royal roles and moved to the US. Now living in California, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have carved out new roles for themselves with a range of media projects, including with Netflix and Spotify.



Later this year, Harry is also set to release a memoir about his time as a royal, with the proceeds from the book to go to charity. Amid his and Meghan’s departure from the Royal Family, other royals have grown in importance. Among those who have stepped up are Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and Prince Edward, the Queen’s youngest son. In 2021, the Earl and Countess of Wessex carried out the fourth and fifth most engagements in the Royal Family respectively.


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Edward carried out 204 engagements and Sophie did 194, compared to Prince William, who was slightly ahead with 235 official duties. The Wessexes’ importance to the Royal Family has also been outlined by royal historian Marlene Koenig,that in “precedence” they “come before” Harry. The US-based writer and librarian has researched Britain’s Royal Family for more than 40 years.



Ms Koenig was asked if Sophie and Edward have become two of the most important royals now Harry and Meghan have left England. She said: “Absolutely. Remember, Harry is the grandson of the monarch. Edward is the son of the monarch. “So, in precedence, he and Sophie come before.


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“Sophie was already doing things, but now the press has said, ‘Oh, here’s the Countess of Wessex. Let’s do more about her’. “But she’s been there. She’s been doing these things. She’s been taking on more and more, even before Harry married Meghan.”



Ms Koenig said that amid a difficult recent period for the Royal Family, Sophie has proven herself as a key royal. However, even before the pandemic, and the departure of Harry and Meghan, the Countess of Wessex, was crucial to the monarchy, according to Ms Koenig.



The expert said: “She’s just been this backbone, this stalwart of the British Royal Family. “Doing what is important but not getting more attention for it, and that’s good.” One of the main ways Sophie has been relied upon in recent times is as a crucial support to the Queen. Last year Her Majesty tragically lost her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who died aged 99.



As the Queen grieved the loss of her husband, the Countess of Wessex was reported to have been a great comfort to the monarch. Sophie would visit the Queen at Windsor Castle, which is just a short drive from her own royal residence, Bagshot Park. Speaking about Sophie’s visits, Ms Koenig said: “She was someone who could be right there in 15 minutes by car. “She is mellow. She is well-spoken. She is very much a calming influence.”


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