Queen Elizabeth's daughter-in-law says the royals have their "own little portfolios"

By Stephanie Petit
June 09, 2020 12:26 PM

Sophie, Countess of Wessex has a full royal calendar.

With Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's recent exit from their roles as senior working members of the royal family, along with Prince Andrew giving up public duties due to his ties with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, there have been questions as to whether other working royals have been picking up their duties. Queen Elizabeth's daughter-in-law Sophie addressed the issue, sharing that she remains "as busy as I have ever been."

"We've all got our own little portfolios," Sophie told The Sunday Times. "I don’t see anything changing, but if we’re asked to do more…I don’t know because it hasn’t really happened."

She added, "I am pretty busy already, so I’m not sure how much more I can do. There are only so many hours in the day. People may pay more attention to what I am doing, but I remain as busy as I have ever been."

Prince Harry, Sophie Countess of Wessex and Meghan Markle
| Credit: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty
Sophie, Countess of Wessex
| Credit: The Royal Family/Instagram

Sophie is royal patron of over 70 charities and organizations, with special interests in children, agriculture, avoidable blindness and preventing sexual violence.

Following a recent visit to South Sudan, a first for a member of the royal family, Sophie drew comparisons to Princess Diana for the late royal's dangerous 1997 trip to Angola to campaign against the use of landmines.

"I'm not able to raise the profile by that extent," she said of the comparison. "I'm not going to be able to change things the way she did, but I hope it keeps it from sliding off the agenda. I won't let it, it's too important."

Sophie, 55, also reflected on her similarities to Meghan, given they both came from middle-class backgrounds before marrying into the royal family, as well as the harsh scrutiny they've received from the media.

"Remember, I'd had five years to adjust," Sophie said of her and Prince Edward's long relationship, compared to Meghan and Harry's expedited courtship. "And for our six-month engagement I was even staying in Buckingham Palace. Not that you necessarily know how it will pan out."

Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Meghan Markle
| Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty

The royal mom of two was a close confidant of Meghan's while she and Harry lived at Frogmore Cottage, which is just 10 miles from Sophie and Edward's Bagshot Park home.

As Meghan and Harry focus on building a life in America with their 1-year-old son Archie, Sophie wishes them nothing but the best. "I just hope that they will be happy," she said.

Prince Edward, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn
| Credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage

Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!

Although Sophie and Prince Edward are working members of the royal family, their son and daughter will also have to branch out as they grow up. Lady Louise, 16, and James, Viscount Severn, 12, are grandchildren of Queen Elizabeth, but they are unlikely to use their Her/His Royal Highness titles when they are adults, Sophie revealed.

"We try to bring them up with the understanding that they are very likely to have to work for a living," she told The Sunday Times. "Hence we made the decision not to use HRH titles. They have them and can decide to use them from 18, but it’s highly unlikely."