The Countess of Wessex's 89-year-old dad has received the COVID-19 vaccine

By Heather Cichowski

The Countess of Wessex had a very memorable birthday this week. Sophie celebrated turning 56 on Jan. 20 with a video call with Lincolnshire NHS General Practice nurses and healthcare assistants. During the virtual event, the countess revealed her 89-year-old father, Christopher Bournes Rhys-Jones, had received the COVID-19 vaccine!

The video of Sophie's engagement was shared on the Royal Family's Instagram on Jan. 21. The birthday girl delivered the opening address at the conference and expressed her heartfelt thanks to all of the staff working tirelessly during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Thank you so much to all of you," the mom of two said. "It doesn't matter what part of the system you're working in, whether you’re general practitioner nurses, whether you're healthcare assistants, we all know how much this pandemic has put on you and we're hugely grateful for all of your hard work."

Prince Edward's wife went on to say she received an early birthday present: Her father was inoculated against COVID-19.

"I had a very wonderful birthday present yesterday. It was an early birthday present because my father received his vaccine. He's 89 years old and I'm so happy he's actually got it. It's a huge weight off my mind," Sophie shared.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex and her father, Christopher Rhys-Jones, at Royal Ascot on June 21, 2013. Photo: © Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

"And he was full of praise for the way that it had been handled, and how quick and easy and simple the whole process was.

"I know that wouldn't be happening without the care and attention of the nurses out in general surgeries."

MORE: Stars and royals who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Sophie did not reveal whether this was her father's first dose of the vaccine or whether he had received the Pfizer or Moderna medication.

As of Jan. 19, more than 4 million people in the United Kingdom have received their first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. More than half of those aged 80 and over have already been vaccinated.

This also includes the Queen, 94, and Prince Philip, 99. They received COVID-19 vaccinations on Jan. 9 at Windsor Castle, according to the Palace. The doses were administered by a Household Doctor, and Her Majesty went public about the royal couple receiving the inoculations to avoid speculation and rumour, reports say.

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