Wednesday, 8 July 2020

The Countess of Wessex Talks Zoom, Pets & Lycra During Women's Institute Meeting at Local Pub

This afternoon, the Countess of Wessex stepped out to meet members of the Bagshot Women's Institute at the Half Moon pub in Surrey, which re-opened over the weekend. Sophie drove to the engagement - support the hospitality industry - from her nearby home, Bagshot Park.

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Majesty Magazine's Joe Little noted: "The pub dates back to the 17th century and was originally a coaching inn and general stores for the Duke of Connaught at nearby Bagshot Park, according to Buckingham Palace."

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Once inside, Sophie was eager to hear from owner Conrad Sturt about the effect the pandemic has had on business. The pub has been in the family for almost fifty years, and was originally purchased by his mother Helga in 1971. Conrad likened the past three months to a "stab in the heart", adding: "The support of our locals, and our community, has been exceptional. We managed to do a takeaway and a collection service which has kept us going. It is safe to come back to pubs, provided the pubs are managing the situation properly."

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Today, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a rescue plan including a cut in stamp duty, a jobs bonus scheme and eating out discount. Chris Ship reports:

'The Half Moon landlord said the royal visit showed that it is “safe to come back to pubs". Reacting to the chancellor’s VAT cut for his industry – and Rishi Sunak’s offer to pay half the cost of meals out in August – landlord Conrad Sturt said: "What a great thing to happen.
"That hopefully will bring people out provided they feel safe." He added: "The cut in VAT might allow us to reduce prices a little bit." "Bring it on!"

As the Countess sat down with a group of ladies from the local Women's Institute, she was offered a gin and tonic. "I am driving," she replied. "Otherwise I would join you." Sophie has been a member of the Women's Institute for well over a decade. Chris Ship notes the Earl of Wessex has popped into the pub on a number of occasions. Although Sophie had not visited before, a customer from the local gym caught her eye and she joked: "I don't recognise you not in lycra."

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Sophie credited Zoom as "making the world of difference during the pandemic" describing herself as somewhat of a "Zoom aficionado". "Can you imagine what this would have been like 15-20 years ago – on the telephone?" Sophie went on to to discuss a couple of challenges her father experienced before getting the hang of video calls.

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As she met the family's adorable pet dog, she said: "You're lucky your on a lead or I would take you home!"

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The video below has excellent clips from several conversations Sophie had during the visit.


The Countess looked elegant in a maroon jumper and a pale pink midi skirt.

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Hello! shared details on Sophie's jewellery: "Sweetly, the royal also added a personal touch to her outfit – wearing her personalised necklace that bears the initials 'E' for her husband Prince Edward, an 'L' for her daughter Lady Louise Windsor and a 'J' for her son, James, Viscount Severn. She added her Lucia Odescalchi disc earrings, too." The earrings retail for £180 on the jewellers website.

I'll update should more information on Sophie's look become available. 

4 comments:

  1. A lovely post for a lovely lady. It's fun seeing Sophie wearing her hair down more these days, and beautifully brushed out. Thanks for all the ID detail on her jewellery, otherwise she has stuck to a pretty low key outfit. Great that she recognised someone she knew there. The Chilvers wedges look comfy but I'm not sure about the little extra tab on the toe, seems to distract from a nice classic court style. Another great, thorough, and speedy post, thank you!

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  2. Nice semi casual outfit. She has her ways with dogs. I like her better with the hair up, OMO of course.

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  3. Wonderful post, thank you, Charlotte! Great video. Sophie is so relaxed and nice to people! Seeing her interact with them made me think of Kate, I could see some similarities. No wonder they seem to be good friends. They both come across as friendly, caring and down-to-earth. IMO Kate can relate to her better than to any other women in the RF: she also married a prince, had to learn the ropes which wasn't easy, and her position became stronger and more defined over the years.

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  4. Caroline in MontanaWednesday, 15 July, 2020

    Love the outfit and love her hair. I must say that the photo of her seated at the table opposite of the older woman is probably one of the best photos of the DOW i have ever seen. she is aging so gracefully. what an asset she is.

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