Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex will ‘step up’ and take on more public duties in the Queen’s absence, a royal insider has claimed.
At the weekend it emerged the 94-year-old monarch will remain at Windsor Castle indefinitely, with all her public engagements on hold until the threat from coronavirus clears.
In the meantime senior aides have put together a programme dubbed the Royal Task Force, aimed at extending The Firm’s public presence, reports The Mirror.
Edward, 56, and his wife Sophie, 55, are set to play a key role, while Her Majesty is said to be in constant contact with Prince Charles and Prince William.
Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex (pictured in Mersea Island, Essex in March) will ‘step up’ and take on more public duties in the Queen’s absence, a royal source has claimed
A royal source told the publication: ‘There is going to be a lot more interaction between the family members while the crisis is ongoing.
‘Her Majesty has given instructions that, after a turbulent period for the family last year, now is the time to heal and have a united front and get back to the basics of what the monarchy is for – her sole belief is that it goes back to the basics of duty.’
They added that the Queen is ‘more determined than ever to return when the time is right’.
In recent weeks, Prince Charles, 71, and the Wessexes have opened the NHS Nightingale Hospitals via video link, while Sophie has shared home schooling tips with parents via Instagram to help boost morale.
At the weekend it emerged the 94-year-old monarch will remain at Windsor Castle indefinitely, with all her public engagements on hold until the threat from coronavirus clears
Previously described as the Royal Family’s ‘secret weapon’ by royal journalist and author Victoria Murphy, last month it emerged Sophie, mother to Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn, has been working secretly as a volunteer making lunches for NHS staff during the pandemic.
She also joined a video call with the Thames Valley Air Ambulance, of which she is patron, to congratulate them on their work with the NHS during the crisis, and has helped publicise advice from the children’s charity NSPCC and the National Autistic Society.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex, currently isolating at their home in Bagshot Park, Surrey, and the Princess Royal also video-called several veterans who flew Lancaster Bombers and raised a glass on VE Day to learn about their experiences in the war.
Previously described as the Royal Family’s ‘secret weapon’ by royal journalist and author Victoria Murphy, last month it emerged the Countess, mother to Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn, has been working secretly as a volunteer making lunches for NHS staff during the pandemic
A palace insider told The Mirror Sophie is ‘one of the nicest people you could ever meet’, adding: ‘She’s incredibly hard working, no nonsense and she really cares about people and the causes she works on.
‘The public has seen that as well and through the crisis she has been seen more and more. That can only be a good thing for everyone involved.’
Last week Ingrid Seward claimed the Countess, 55, approaches her role in The Firm in an ‘unfussy way’ and said she ‘gets on with things regardless of the attention’.
Since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex quit as senior members of the Royal Family earlier this year, The Firm has rallied together to ensure its charitable organisations are well supported.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who are currently isolating at their Norfolk home, Anmer Hall, have held regular Zoom meetings with frontline NHS workers and school staff and pupils of key workers, as well as various charities.
Prince William, 37, and Kate, 38, also spoke to World War II veterans ahead of the 75th anniversary of VE Day last week.
It is believed this will be the monarch’s longest absence from her official duties in her 68 year reign, with her schedule not expected to resume until into the autumn at the earliest.
A spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace said the Queen continues to be ‘busy’, conducting a weekly audience with the Prime Minister by phone and receiving her daily red boxes of Government papers.
They added that Her Majesty will ‘follow appropriate advice on engagements’ and is keeping in touch with her family by phone and video calls.