Prince Edward and Sophie of Wessex have been married for over twenty years. At the announcement of his engagement to the one who will later become the mother of his children, the son of Queen Elizabeth, in love with his future wife, had not hesitated to break the protocol, as recalled The Express.
Expressions of affection are rare in the British royal family. And for good reason, the protocol is strict. And there is no question of bantering with the rules! For example, it is strictly forbidden to touch Queen Elizabeth II. If the mistake has been made several times by political leaders, like Jacques Chirac or Michelle Obama, it has not created a real diplomatic incident. The British press, on the other hand, has enjoyed these small deviations. Another important point is that royal couples should avoid holding hands in public. For example, when Kate Middleton and Prince William go on a date as part of their engagement, they should not show signs of affection. Still, these rules have relaxed with the arrival of more modern couples, like Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. But the Duchess of Sussex is not the only one to have broken the protocol. Before her, Prince Edward has also already bent the rules … for love of Sophie of Wessex.
On January 6, 1999, about six years after they met, the son of Queen Elizabeth II publicly announced his engagement to Sophie Rhys-Jones at Saint James’s Palace in London. On this important and symbolic day for the couple, Prince Edward broke with royal protocol by showing an unexpected sign of affection to his future wife. In a new documentary devoted to them, we learn that the future groom has held the hand of his dear and tender. Shocking! In front of the cameras present for the occasion, he even went further since he dared to kiss her. “This display of affection was a first for a royal couple announcing their engagement,” noted Royal expert Richard Kay in remarks reported by The Express.
No one had ever seen this before
So was Edward a modern prince before his time? We can only imagine that at the time, his gestures were probably less scrutinized than those of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, who have multiplied gestures of affection during their royal engagements. Sophie of Wessex’s husband “showed a modern approach” to his engagement, observed Richard Kay in the Channel 5 documentary Edward & Sophie: The Reluctant Royals? He added, “He actually kissed his bride-to-be for the cameras, something no one had ever seen from a member of the royal family before.” Ah, love…
Photo credits: Royalportraits Europe/Bernard Rubsamen / Bestimage