Sophie Wessex gave up her PR executive career shortly after being caught making some ill-advised comments on major British political figures in 2001. The Countess of Wessex was unknowingly recorded while meeting with a News of the World reporter pretending to be an Arab sheikh. Channel 5 documentary ‘Scandals at the Palace’ narrator Paula Bacon said: “What the fake sheikh caught on tape caused considerable embarrassment.
“Sophie can be heard criticising Cherie Blair for not understanding the countryside. At the time, Tony Blair was Prime Minister.”
The Countess of Wessex also made some indiscreet comments about her brother-in-law Prince Charles and his then partner Camilla Parker Bowles.
Ms Bacon added: “She also spoke about Charles and Camilla, who then were not married and how many people might not want Camilla to be Queen.
“Caught by the fake sheikh, Sophie and the Royal Family desperately tried to contain the scandal, which made it much worse.”
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Royal commentator Richard Kay said the comments had extended to the Prime Minister himself as well as the leader of the Conservative Party.
Mr Kay said: “She said the Royal Family didn’t like him because he was too presidential.
“She also made some unfortunate, unflattering remarks about William Hague who was then the Leader of the Opposition.”
The scandal resulted in the end of Sophie’s attempts to have a career outside of the Royal Family and in stricter rules on managing working royals.
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The Countess’ high-profile presence on the royal scene following Meghan and Harry’s departure has also prompted speculation she is taking over what they left behind.
A royal insider earlier this year claimed the ‘very popular’ Sophie has been singled out by Buckingham Palace to step into the spotlight in the coming months.
The source told The Sun: “Sophie’s a long-term favourite of the Queen and has been singled out as a person the Palace would like to help ease the burden.”
Much like other senior members of the Royal Family, Sophie has kept up with her busy agenda despite the lockdown and has been repeatedly spotted volunteering to help provide food to vulnerable people shielding.