How to address Sophie Countess of Wessex – why isn’t she a princess?


Sophie Countess of Wessex is one of the most popular members of the Royal Family.

She is the wife of the Queen’s youngest son, Prince Edward.

The couple have two children, Lady Louise, 15, and James, Viscount Severn, 11.

Both Edward and Sophie work full time for the Royal Family.

Formerly known as Sophie Rhys Jones, her official title now is Her Royal Highness Sophie Countess of Wessex.

Why isn’t Sophie Countess of Wessex a princess? 

Some might assume that any woman who married a prince would automatically become a princess by title, but that is no the case.

Women who marry into the Royal Family take the feminine version of their partners title.

On his wedding day Prince Edward was made the Earl of Wessex, so his wife became the Countess of Wessex.

Sophie does still have the princess title, in a way. However, if she chose to use it she would be Princess Edward, in the same way there is a Princess Michael of Kent.

Many modern royal woman choose not to use this title.

So, how should you address Sophie Countess of Wessex?

The Royal Family website said: “There are no obligatory codes of behaviour when meeting the Queen or a member of the Royal Family, but many people wish to observe the traditional forms.”

It adds: “For other female members of the Royal Family the first address is conventionally ‘Your Royal Highness’ and subsequently ‘Ma’am’.”

But why isn’t Sophie Countess of Wessex a Duchess like Kate? 

When Prince Edward married, he took on the title of the Earl of Wessex, reportedly by request.

Had he been made a duke, Sophie would have been made a Duchess.

However, there is a chance that Sophie could become a Duchess in the future. 

In 1999, it was announced Prince Edward would one day become the Duke of Edinburgh.

This is a title currently held by his dad, Prince Philip, who has held the title since 1947 when he married the Queen.


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