Edward and Sophie celebrate 20 years of marriage
The Earl and Countess of Wessex are marking the occasion privately.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex are celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary.
Edward is the youngest of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh’s children, and the only one not to have got divorced.
The earl and Sophie enjoyed a day out at the races on Tuesday, ahead of their anniversary, and posed for photographs at Royal Ascot to mark their milestone.
Buckingham Palace said the couple would be celebrating their two decades of marriage together privately on Wednesday.
Prince Edward married Sophie Rhys-Jones in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, on June 19 1999, in a continental-style evening service where guests were told not to wear hats.
They now have two children, Lady Louise Windsor, 15, and 11-year-old Viscount Severn.
Her daughter, Lady Louise Windsor, was born several weeks prematurely when the countess was rushed to hospital for an emergency Caesarean section.
Two years earlier, she suffered a potentially life-threatening ectopic pregnancy and lost the baby.
Sophie, who hails from a middle-class background, once had a job at Capital Radio and continued working in PR when she married.
She was caught in a Fake Sheikh sting and accused of trying to use her status to promote her business.
The “Sophiegate” newspaper controversy was hugely damaging, resulting in reports of indiscreet remarks about a string of public figures including Tony and Cherie Blair, and William Hague.
It led to a lengthy inquiry into how working royals should be regulated.
Edward, who dropped out of the Royal Marines in 1987, was the first child of a sovereign to actively pursue their own career.
Edward also enraged his brother, the Prince of Wales, when Ardent was found filming at St Andrews University, in breach of a media agreement, shortly after Prince William began studying there.
In the Queen’s Golden Jubilee year of 2002, the Wessexes finally announced that they would be quitting their businesses to become full-time royals.
The earl, 55, is heavily involved with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme, founded by his father, Philip.
His interests also include sports and the arts.
His many arts patronages include the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Northern Ballet and the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain.
Sophie, 54, is patron of more than 70 charities and organisations, with interests including agriculture, fashion, supporting people with disabilities, and the prevention of avoidable blindness in developing countries.
In 2015, the Queen hosted a reception for nearly 400 people at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the couple’s charitable work.
She recently returned from the first ever official royal visit to Lebanon, where she met Syrian women and children in a refugee camp.
Edward’s siblings have all been divorced.
The Duke of York ended his marriage to Sarah, Duchess of York, in 1996, while Charles formally split from Diana, Princess of Wales, the same year.
The Princess Royal divorced Captain Mark Phillips in 1992.
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