When it comes to royal couples, some tend to dominate the headlines – Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Meghan and of course, we can never tire of talking about the late Queen and Prince Philip.
But one duo tend to shy away from the limelight and are often forgotten despite being married for nearly 23 years. Prince Edward and Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh have been married since 1999 and Edward remains the Queen’s only child who has not been divorced.
Unlike the rushed arranged marriage of his older brother King Charles and his first wife Princess Diana, Prince Edward and Sophie met organically and began dating shortly after a charity event in 1993.
“The failures of the marriages of Edward’s beloved sister Anne and then, in rapid and ever more embarrassing succession, Andrew and Charles, made him even more determined to put caution before commitment,” royal expert Ingrid Seward says.
Then a public relations executive with her own firm, Sophie Rhys-Jones was 34 when the royal engagement was announced – the same age as her husband-to-be.
Proposing with a stunning diamond ring that featured two heart-shaped gemstones, Edward asked Sophie to be his wife during a Christmas holiday on Windermere Island in the Bahamas and the couple tied the knot less than a year later at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
Since marrying, the couple have welcomed two children – their eldest daughter Lady Louise Windsor was born in 2003 and their son James, Viscount Severn in 2007.
Both Edward and Sophie are regulars on the royal engagement calendar and Sophie is meant to be a firm favourite with her mother-in-law thanks to never causing drama, but the couple’s love story is something out of a fairytale.
Keep scrolling to see the relationship journey of Prince Edward and Sophie from fun-loving boyfriend and girlfriend to the happily married Earl and Countess they are today.
Royal fans suspected things were serious between Prince Edward and his then-girlfriend Sophie when she began to attend numerous weddings with him.
The Queen’s youngest son and the former PR executive bonded over their love of sports and outdoor living.
At their official engagement photo shoot, the happy couple were all smiles.
And whilst the royals don’t tend to pack on the PDA, the groom-to-be planted a sweet kiss on Sophie’s cheek.
The couple were snapped horse riding in Windsor ahead of their wedding.
The look of love!
Sophie’s first Trooping the Colour was just days before her wedding day – a royal rarity as protocol usually dictates that plus ones are wives or husbands.
On their wedding day, the Queen bestowed Edward and Sophie with the titles Earl and Countess of Wessex.
Royal waving like a pro!
The newlyweds kept things playful on royal engagements.
During a visit to Bhutan in 2000, Edward lovingly placed his arm around his wife.
The husband and wife were photographed holding hands as they left an official photo call.
The two know how to scrub up nicely when there’s a royal wedding on.
And Lady Louise makes three! Following the birth of their daughter, this sweet snap of the new parents, taken by Prince Andrew, was released.
A keen cyclist, Sophie has participated in numerous charity bike rides and was photographed sharing a quick kiss with her proud husband.
Who would’ve thought Royal Ascot would be such a romantic setting?
Edward always manages to put a smile on Sophie’s face.
The royal sports fans share a laugh at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Family comes first.
Eye see you! The couple are always throwing themselves into royal engagements.
The Wessex family are very close and live at Bagshot Park in Surrey, outside of London.
Edward and Sophie celebrated an impressive 20 years of marriage at Royal Ascot in 2019.
Who wouldn’t want to share a drink with these two?
Even in protective coats and hats, their love shines through.
Smiles all round.
Always the gentleman!
During their royal tour of the Caribbean during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year, the couple shared a smitten look.