The Countess of Wessex can be seen smiling as she wears the Robes of a Dame of the Order of St John in an official portrait released by Buckingham Palace.
In the photograph, taken last year, Sophie Wessex, 56, who is the Grand President of St John Ambulance and a care volunteer for the charity, was presented with the First Bar to the Service Medal, marking 15 years with the Order on Wednesday.
Wearing her blonde hair coiffed back off her face, the mother-of-two kept her makeup neutral, adding just a pair of dainty earrings.
The Order of St John, headed by the Queen, is a historic Christian charity connected with the St John Ambulance. The Duke of Gloucester is the Order’s Grand Prior.
The Countess of Wessex, 56, can be seen smiling as she wears the Robes of a Dame of the Order of St John in an official portrait released by Buckingham Palace
Sophie Wessex, who is the Grand President of St John Ambulance, has been volunteering at a Covid-19 vaccination centre (pictured) in south-west London
Around the world, there are five Orders of St John which run numerous programmes, ranging from ambulance corps to schemes for young people, care for the elderly, the disabled, children and the homeless.
They also provide first-aid training, and disaster and humanitarian relief worldwide.
The British Order of St John is an Order of Chivalry of the Crown.
Reaffirmed in Britain in the mid-19th century by Queen Victoria, the Order traces its origins back 900 years to the Knights Hospitaller who cared for the sick in Jerusalem.
The news comes after the royal recently started volunteering at a vaccination centre during lockdown to assist the Covid-19 jab rollout across the country.
During her first shift, the Countess was seen avidly chatting to a man (pictured) and providing him with vital information as he was given the Covid-19 jab
Sophie joined helpers at a centre in south-west London after completing her training.
She was said to be eager to work in a practical way during the mass vaccination programme, which St John Ambulance is supporting, and is thought to proud to be part of the charity’s growing team of volunteers.
During her first shift on, Sophie was pictured avidly chatting to people and providing support as they were given the Covid-19 jab.
Sophie was seen providing the patient with reassurance and vital information during the vaccination process.
She donned a green St John Ambulance T-shirt to mark herself out as a volunteer and kept herself protected by sporting a disposable face mask during her shift.
A St John Ambulance spokeswoman said: ‘Like many of our existing and long-standing volunteers, the Countess of Wessex has completed the required training to become a care volunteer in support of the NHS vaccination programme.
‘We’re delighted to welcome the Countess, as the Grand President of St John Ambulance, to a growing team of over 10,000 volunteers who are now trained and being deployed to NHS vaccination centres all over England, in an extraordinary collective effort to beat the pandemic.’
She was said to be eager to work during the mass vaccination programme and is reportedly proud to be part of St John Ambulance’s growing team of volunteers
St John Ambulance is helping deliver the NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme and expects to train around 30,000 vaccination volunteers by this coming spring.
Sophie has been at the forefront of the royal family’s response to the ongoing pandemic and was previously hailed as a ‘royal key worker’ for her volunteering work.
Last June, she visited St John Ambulance’s Operational Support hub to help organise PPE shipments for ambulance crews and hospital staff across the UK.
Speaking about her volunteering during the crisis, Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty, previously said: ‘She is making a difference in a very understated, very “Sophie” way.’
Meanwhile, Peregrine Armstrong-Jones, of Bentley’s Entertainment, who was helped by the royal to organise meals for NHS workers, told PEOPLE magazine in June last year: ‘There’s no fanfare. These are private visits done in her own private time.
‘When she leaves our kitchens, she generally then goes on to do more projects in different hospitals.’
A friend added: ‘She was brought up by her parents and there was going to be no free ride in her family. She wasn’t born to be the eldest daughter of a duke and duchess and find a marvellous marriage and polish her tiaras.’