Sophie gathered with members in the garden of the Half Moon public house, which reopened over the weekend

By Simon Perry
July 08, 2020 12:57 PM
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Sophie, Countess of Wessex
| Credit: Stuart C. Wilson/WPA Pool/Getty

As the world slowly tries to get back to some kind of normal life amid the coronavirus pandemic, Sophie, Countess of Wessex headed out to a meeting in a pub!

Queen Elizabeth's daughter-in-law joined the local Women's Institute meeting on Wednesday at the Half Moon public house, not far from her family home of Bagshot Park.

Sophie, 55, joined fellow members of the group in the garden of the pub, which reopened over the weekend. Local members had been keeping in touch via video calls throughout the pandemic, but they have recently started meeting up in small groups for socially distanced chats.

The WI members talked to the royal mom of two about some of the activities they have been doing to support the coronavirus response efforts during lockdown. They have been sewing protective equipment, masks and scrub bags for local hospital Frimley Park — where Sophie gave birth to her children, 16-year-old Lady Louise and 12-year-old James, Viscount Severn — and baking for key workers like the local fire service.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex
| Credit: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty

Sophie has been doing her own volunteering throughout the crisis, helping prepare food for healthcare workers and delivering care packages for homeless people.

She has been a member of Bagshot WI since 2007 and had been due to give a keynote address at their annual meeting in June. Queen Elizabeth is a member of the group local to her Sandringham estate and likes to have an annual visit with them in January.

Credit: Stuart C. Wilson/WPA Pool/Getty

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The other major subject on everyone’s lips was how the owners, the Sturt family, as well as kitchen and bar staff, about the challenges they had faced. The pub has become even more of a social hub during the pandemic, introducing a delivery service for local vulnerable people.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex
| Credit: Stuart C. Wilson/WPA Pool/Getty

Sophie was told about the new guidelines that they’ve put in place to enable them to welcome patrons again, including a Contact and Trace system at the entrance and a new socially distanced table layout.