"She looks like a modern Grace Kelly," a fashion source tells PEOPLE
Credit: Dave Benett/Getty

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While Sophie, Countess of Wessex has been working as a senior royal for over a decade, it’s only recently that Prince Edward‘s wife has been garnering attention for her graceful style.

Presenting a fashion award at the Harper’s Bazaar Women of the Year awards in London this week, Sophie looked effortlessly chic in an embroidered lace-and- jacquard dress by British designer Mary Katrantzou, to whom she was presenting the award. Sleek in high-heeled black pumps and clutching a bejeweled Fendi baguette bag, the 50-year-old royal certainly held her own amongst Hollywood stars, including Kate Winslet and Nicole Kidman.

It’s a more refined, glamorous-yet-understated look that the royal mom to Lady Louise, 11, and Viscount James, 7 has perfected in recent months – all without the help of a stylist.

“She looks incredible,” says a fashion boutique owner whose store Sophie frequents, adding: “She does it all herself, and a very good job she is doing too.”

With a keen eye for feminine tailoring and elegant formalwear, Sophie’s choices have been compared to those of Princess Kate. Both are fans of British designers Erdem, Emilia Wickstead and Alexander McQueen as well as the milliner Jane Taylor. And both own those famous L.K. Bennett nude pumps.

In a recent interview with the The Sunday Express in which she revealed she has never used a stylist, Sophie said she hasn’t always been comfortable with the idea of fashion being part of her job but has since learned to embrace it: “I sort of wrestled with that one for a little while and slightly caved in at the end of the day.”

It was in the same interview that Sophie opened up about her daughter Lady Louise’s eye issues and how it had prompted her to raise awareness for the blind. She has since become patron of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness as well as a global ambassador for Vision 2020.

Cementing her sartorial influence, Sophie is also a patron of the prestigious London College of Fashion and regularly finds herself on fashion magazines’ Best Dressed lists. “She looks like a modern Grace Kelly,” says the source.