Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex have reflected on the past 15 months - and what life was like for their family during the coronavirus pandemic.
The royal couple, who are parents to Lady Louise Windsor, 17, and James, Viscount Severn, 13, revealed they would often check in on the Queen and Prince Philip at their residence in Windsor Castle - albeit from a distance.
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Admitting the pandemic was "staggeringly difficult" for his parents, Prince Edward recently told The Telegraph: "For them, life is so much about contact, it's so much about people and then suddenly that all stops."
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Unable to enter their HMS Bubble, the Wessexes were reduced to socially distanced meetings within the castle grounds. "We used to see them stand on the balcony, which was about 20 feet up in the air," explained Sophie.
"We'd see them waving. We'd shout at them and they'd shout back at us. It always seemed to be windy, so we could barely hear each other."
Both Sophie and Edward, who is the Queen's youngest child, live with their children at Bagshot Park in Surrey, just a few miles down the road from Windsor Castle. Their proximity to the Queen's royal residence during the pandemic meant the family got to spend some time with both her Majesty and the late Prince Philip.
The Countess shares a close bond with her mother-in-law the Queen
During the interview, the royals also said they were "flattered" to be taking on a more prominent role in a slimmed-down monarchy since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's move to California.
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"We are still a family no matter what happens, we always will be," the Countess remarked.
Reflecting on their more prominent role in the monarchy, she said: "We've plodded along doing what we're doing, hopefully doing it well. And then all of a sudden there’s a bit of a hiatus and things have changed a bit.
"Naturally, the media are looking for people to fill the so-called void," Sophie then added: "If people want to pay more attention to what we're doing, then great."
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