Sophie, Countess of Wessex, 55, joined the Royal Family when she married Prince Edward, 56. They have both worked as senior members of the family and often step out together. A body language expert reveals there has been a key change in their relationship.
Sophie and Prince Edward tied the knot at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on June 19, 1999.
The royal couple have two children together, Lady Louise Windsor, 16, and James, Viscount Severn, 12.
They dated for roughly six years before tying the knot and their wedding attracted a lot of attention, body language expert Judi James explained.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, she said: “Back in the day this marriage between the Queen’s youngest son and a girl from the world of PR and TV would have been seen as ear-marked for disaster.
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“In many ways it contained the worst traits of their generation of matches: Edward was seen as having all the petulance of his two older brothers but less of the charm and talent.
“Sophie was similar enough in looks to Diana, causing worry about rabid and intrusive press interest, but as a non-royal with a proper career she appeared to be worryingly unsuited to all the restrictions of life in the royal firm.”
While some may have had concerns about how Sophie would adapt to her royal role, Prince Edward proudly stood by his new bride.
On the big day, the Queen’s son looked confident while Sophie appeared slightly shy, the expert suggested.
Judi added: “Edward’s body language at the time of their wedding suggested he was keen to please and appease.
“He was attempting to paper over any historic rifts between himself and his father and even the press by presenting himself in the similar ‘dashing young prince’ mode as Charles and Andrew as he showed off his beautiful fairy-tale bride.
“The power and status balance shown in the body language of their wedding day appeared to mimic Charles and Diana, with Edward looking keen to show himself as a bit of a regal charmer doing all the dominant stuff while Sophie stood beautiful and slightly shyly by his side.
“His glances at Sophie looked infused with pride but his subtler body language signals suggested some awkwardness, with the rigid and self-consciously placed right arm and the equally rigid-looking smile.”
“Both Edward and Sophie appeared to have matured into very different roles from their idealised wedding poses and this evolution seems to have worked well.
“Edward’s non-verbal signals suggest he’s happily moved into a more low-key role in public, while Sophie’s confidence signals show her as being the more socially active one in the team dynamic.
“Unlike Charles when Diana outshone him in public, Edward looks delighted to stand by his wife using glances of admiration and pride.
“He places his hands behind his back to suggest it’s her show, but his overall mirroring of her mood and posture shows they share like-minded thinking.”