Queen breaks silence amid royal controversy to mark 'favourite' daughter-in-law's birthday

Queen Elizabeth II watches her horse 'Fabricate' run in the Wolferton Stakes
(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

The Queen has broken her silence amid the controversy surrounding Prince Andrew to share a special post marking her “favourite” daughter-in-law’s birthday.

Her Majesty is facing an incredibly challenging start to 2022 after what was thought to be one of her worst years ever last year. The Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William are said to be “furious” at her third child, Prince Andrew, as it was announced he’s been stripped of his royal patronages and military honours. Whilst some wonder whether Prince Andrew is still a Prince, the monarch has now banished him from social media. Now the Queen has broken her silence amid this controversial time as she shared a heart-warming family tribute to her reported “favourite” daughter-in-law. 

Sophie, Countess of Wessex is the wife of Prince Edward, and became an official member of the Royal Family in 1999 when they tied the knot at St George’s Chapel. On January 20th, Sophie turned 57 and the day hasn’t gone unnoticed by her mother-in-law.

Posting an adorable picture of Sophie beaming as she holds a sleepy-looking black Labrador puppy, the Royal Family Twitter account declared, ‘Wishing The Countess of Wessex a very Happy Birthday today!

This sweet snap is made even more special given how the Countess took over as Patron of Guide Dogs last year, with some dubbing her the Royal Family’s “secret weapon”. Sophie and Edward have become more prominent in recent months and the Countess was branded an “asset” to the Queen for tackling powerful topics in her royal work.

She is understood to be particularly close to the monarch, with some claiming she's her mother-in-law's “favourite". According to The Sun, a courtier suggested last year that Her Majesty doesn’t have a favourite child as Sophie takes this accolade. 

Queen Elizabeth II and Sophie, Countess of Wessex attend day one of Royal Ascot

They alleged, “If you’re asking who is Her Majesty’s favourite child, it’s none of them, it’s her daughter-in-law.”

Whilst royal expert Duncan Larcombe expressed his belief that Sophie is one of the most important people in the Queen’s life, especially in light of the loss of Prince Philip

He told Fabulous last year, “Sophie Wessex has emerged as the Queen’s unlikely ‘rock’ as the monarch adjusts to life without Prince Philip. Prince Edward’s wife has – according to sources – made it her personal mission to ensure Her Majesty is fully supported by the family.”

“Like so many families during lockdown, Her Majesty was unable to see her favorite daughter-in-law, but as restrictions started to lift, Sophie was one of the few people inside her COVID bubble,” Duncan explained at the time.

Queen Elizabeth II and Sophie, Countess of Wessex attend the Christmas Day service at Sandringham Church

(Image credit: Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty)

“When Philip died, Sophie was an obvious choice to step up and ensure the Queen was being looked after, given she lives minutes down the road," he added.

The sweet tribute from the Queen to her reported “favourite” daughter-in-law's birthday is a lovely indication of her and Sophie's bond, especially at such a difficult time for their family.

Emma Shacklock
Senior Lifestyle Writer

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, Goodto.com, and My Imperfect Life.