Sophie: Duke of Edinburgh’s death has left ‘giant-sized hole’ in lives of royal family

The Countess of Wessex has said the death of the Duke of Edinburgh has left a “giant-sized hole” in the lives of the royal family.

The Countess of Wessex during her interview. Picture: BBC Radio 5 Live/PA Wire
The Countess of Wessex during her interview. Picture: BBC Radio 5 Live/PA Wire

Sophie said the grieving process is likely to take longer due to the pandemic as poignant memories of Philip will not be triggered by the “normal” things he would have done with the family, now restricted by the Covid regulations.

The Queen’s daughter-in-law became emotional as she recounted a fond memory of the duke during an interview for Naga Munchetty’s BBC Radio 5 Live show and was asked if she wanted to continue but insisted she was fine.

The countess also spoke about her work supporting victims of rape and sexual violence in war and was asked about Everyone’s Invited, a website where survivors of sexual abuse share their stories.

She said: “They’ve been able to say something, what happened to them, and actually stating what happened to you is the first step, and I would hope that this leads on to other conversations about how to deal with it, what more can you do, and hopefully the door is open now.”

Speaking about the duke, Sophie said: “Well he’s left a giant-sized hole in our lives. I think unfortunately the pandemic has slightly skewed things, inasmuch as it’s hard to spend as much time with the Queen as we would like to.

“We’ve been trying to, but of course, it’s still not that easy. And of course the normal way of things isn’t normal yet, so we’re not necessarily doing the things that we would normally have done with him.

“So I think the whole grieving process is probably likely for us to take a lot longer. It may be the same for many other families out there. Because if you’re not living with somebody, 24/7, the immediate loss isn’t necessarily felt in the same way, as if somebody was in the house with you all the time.”

The countess added: “It’s only when you would do the normal things that you would have done with them, and you suddenly realise that they are not there, that you really start to have an ‘oh my goodness’ moment.”

In the interview, Sophie said her “whole foundation” has been “shaken” by the pandemic but she has faith in the scientists.

She said: “I certainly had the odd wobble, where I just couldn’t see an end to it, I couldn’t visualise how this was all going to pan out.”