Sophie Wessex says Lady Louise was shocked to discover her grandmother was the Queen

For many years, Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex's daughter Lady Louise believed her grandmother was just like every other grandmother in the world. It wasn't until a few years ago that the young royal discovered that her granny is in fact a highly important public figure. Louise's mother Sophie recalled the moment her daughter asked her about the Queen's position during an interview with the BBC.

"It happened a little while ago," said Sophie laughing. "It was much more of a shock to the system. It was only when she was coming home from school and saying, 'Mommy, people keep on telling me that grandma is the queen.'

"And I asked her, 'Yes, how does that make you feel? And she said, 'I don't understand.'"

Lady Louise came home from school saying: "Mommy, people keep on telling me that grandma is the queen."

Sophie added: "I don't think she had grasped that perhaps there was only one queen."

Naturally like any other parents, Sophie and her husband have tried to give their children as normal an upbringing as possible. The royals have kept their 12-year-old daughter Louise and their eight-year-old son James largely out of the spotlight.

"Certainly when they were very young we tried to keep them out of it," said Sophie. "Only because for their sakes, to grow up as normally as possible we felt was quite important.

"And they're going to have to go out and get a job and earn a living later on in life and if they've had a normal a start in life they possibly can get, then hopefully that will stand them in good stead."

Of her children, Sophie said: "To grow up as normally as possible we felt was quite important."

Louise and James have gradually been making more public appearances. They recently starred in a beautiful portrait released for the Queen's 90th birthday, showing Her Majesty posing with her two youngest grandchildren Louise and James, and her five great-grandchildren.

Princess Charlotte is the newest member of the royal family, having just celebrated her first birthday in May.

Speaking about the photocall, Sophie said: "I don't think any of us knew quite what to expect. Anything could have gone wrong because we had some quite littlies in the picture! But they all behaved fantastically well.

"I think actually the better photograph would have been the one from behind the children looking to all of the adults, trying to get all the children to smile and laugh, to look engaging and everything."

"They all behaved fantastically well," said Sophie of the "littlies."

The Countess, who was giving the interview in her cycling gear, will take part in a 716km cycle ride from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to Buckingham Palace in September.

GALLERY: The Queen's grandchildren and great-grandchildren

She will be showing her support for the Duke of Edinburgh Award's Diamond Challenge – a special initiative marking the 60th anniversary of Prince Philip's scheme.

Admitting that she was very "nervous", Sophie, 51, quipped: "Of course it's downhill because it goes from north to south doesn't it?"

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