• Sophie Wessex is a member of the royal family
  • She married Prince Edward
  • Learn more about her scandal

More than 20 years ago, new royal family member Sophie, Countess of Wessex, found herself in the middle of a scandal that rocked the Palace and caused great embarrassment. 

Sophie Wessex's Scandal 20 Years Ago

While some royal family members have great reputations none can escape having at least a few scandals. Sophie, Countess of Wessex has had her fair share of scandals but has bounced back since then! Many forget how much Prince Edward and his wife clashed with the rest of the family and some of Sophie's true feelings came to light in 2001. Back when she ran a public relations firm, she had her own PR nightmare.

A mere two years after marrying the Queen's youngest son, Sophie met with News of the World reporter Mazher Mahmood who had been pretending to be a sheikh. He claimed to want to use Sophie's PR company and very quickly, Sophie began gossiping and making disparaging remarks about politicians and the Royal family.

He recorded their conversations and released the infamous "Sophie tapes." Sophie felt comfortable enough to take shots at everyone from Prince Charles, Princess Diana, the prime minister and even the Queen herself!

Sophie described how she was compared to Princess Diana when she married Edward, saying "When we got engaged, they were very very keen to put me on to the empty pedestal that had been left by Princess Diana. And I don't think I could have coped with that level of pressure or expectation. Everyone said: Gosh, doesn't she look like Diana?"

"Then they thought: This isn't going to be much good because she's not going to be turning up every day in different outfits, opening children's homes, you know. I do some of that, but not as much as they'd like."

Tenía un vínculo "muy fuerte" con la reina: datos curiosos sobre Sophie, condesa de Wessex

She was also quite disgusted by Prime minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie. Sophie said, "That's why we've got problems with our Prime Minister because he doesn't understand the countryside ... He's ignorant of the countryside. His wife is even worse, she hates the countryside. She hates it!"

Sophie's superficial ideas of politicians slipped out as she described William Hague's chances of being elected were zero because of "his face - it looks all wrong."

She made sure to turn the focus back to Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana. The Countess of Wessex described the Prince of Wales as a fun and "laid back" father to William and Harry. She also said, "He's a man who's always been ahead of his years all the way along. He was damned a complete quack. People laughed at him for his views on architecture, but now they're starting to take notice."

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Sophie, Countess of Wessex Quiz


Who is Sophie, Countess of Wessex married to?

She then said, "The Prince of Wales and Camilla were possibly number one people's unpopular people list," but are more likable now. She said, "People don't want Camilla to be Queen."

Sophie said the Prince of Wales had people working hard to turn around his bad image. "A lot of things came out after Diana's death about the way that she behaved. I think everybody realised that it takes two. You'll get the fanatical Diana diehards who'll always blame the Prince of Wales for everything - we can't do much about that."

She, like her husband, used her royalty to bolster her company. She told her business partner to tell the "fake sheikh" that he "can buy photos of her meeting the Queen and you can do whatever you like with those."

She called the Queen "old dear" and embarrassed the royal family with her bold and brazen confessions. Royal journalist told The Express, "To have just dished the dirt in front of somebody they didn't really know, he was just a prospective client, was incredibly naive and it had terrible consequences."

Buckingham Palace shockingly stepped in to defend the Wessex's and released a statement saying "The Queen deplores the entrapment, subterfuge, innuendo and untruths to which the Earl and Countess have been subjected in recent days."

She and her partner stepped down from the PR company and Sophie released a statement of her own:

"I am deeply distressed by the carrying out of an entrapment operation on me and my business but I also much regret my own misjudgment in succumbing to that subterfuge. This has been a difficult time for me. I take very seriously the issues raised and, naturally, regret any embarrassment above all to the Queen."

Sophie, Countess of Wessex has been able to bounce back and now she and her husband seem to be some of the least controversial members of the royal family. How times have changed!