Sophie, Countess of Wessex decorates cupcakes at Christopher’s Children’s Hospice

Sophie, Countess of Wessex decorates cupcakes at Christopher’s Children’s Hospice

Sophie, Countess of Wessex visited one of her patronages, Shooting Star Chase, on Tuesday, February 9. Sophie visited Christopher’s Children’s Hospice, which she opened in 2001, to mark their 15th birthday.

Sophie visited the hospice and participated in cupcake decorating with some of the kids before chatting to staff, children, and parents. Sophie also cut a cake with help from three girls.

Seven year old Summer presented Sophie with a bouquet of flowers and after meeting her gave her probably the best compliment a little girl who loves Frozen can give anyone: “She was like Elsa, beautiful and with blonde hair. I gave her the flowers and she said she really liked them. And she told me I was good at cake decorating.”

One little boy, Miles, got a photography lesson from one of the royal photographers, Max Mumby.

Miles’ mom, Lisa, said:

    “The Countess asked Miles about his love of cameras – his face when he got to try out a professional camera was a picture! She also commented on his top and said her son loves camouflage too. Her Royal Highness is lovely and was so friendly to everyone in the room. We had such an amazing time and the event is just another occasion where Miles gets to do things he’d never normally do – all because of Shooting Star Chase.”

Sophie said of the visit:

    “Today is about celebrating 15 wonderful years of an incredible service to the community and the many families who greatly need the help that it gives. It has been my pleasure to have been involved with this organisation for 15 years.
    “These visits can often be brief so I’m very grateful for the opportunity to spend time with the children today, it has been a great pleasure for me. Thank you to the children for all the help in the cake decorating, it was very very artistic.
    “Thank you also to everyone who works so incredibly hard to keep this place going, both here at Christopher’s and out in the community. Every penny counts so we need to do everything we possibly can to help Shooting Star Chase continue its really important work.”

All quotes from Shooting Star Chase story.

Sophie signing Friendlies wall
[Shooting Star Chase ‏@SSChospices]

Before leaving, Sophie signed The Friendlies wall – which is a collection of fingerprint characters designed to liven up the hospice and break down the misconception that children’s hospices are sad and depressing.

Sophie's Friendlies wall signiture
[Shooting Star Chase ‏@SSChospices]

Sophie wore a Prada “Cocoon” coat ($3,283.00) which she’s worn several times, and a pink Gucci front detailed wool dress which she’s also worn several times. Sophie finished off the look with earrings, black boots, an a ponytail.

Sophie Shooting Star Chase cake
[BritishMonarchy ‏@BritishMonarchy]

In other Sophie news: She’s been steadily chugging along since she went back to royal duties on January 12. She’s mostly just been doing non-public meetings with her patronages. She representing Prince Edward at a memorial service on her birthday, January 20.

As Patron of the Combined Services Winter Sports Association, Sophie attended several events in France (and by the way, her travel to and from France was included in the CC).

On February 2, Sophie handed out the award to the Snowboard Parallel Slalom winner, Major Rachel Beszant.

Sophie gave a little interview with Forces TV which you can watch here. Go here and here to read more about Sophie’s time in France.

Sophie CSWSA championships

83 thoughts on “Sophie, Countess of Wessex decorates cupcakes at Christopher’s Children’s Hospice

  1. Countess Sophie photographs well and she seems a lot more genuine than Waity. I love that pic of her gnawing on a cookie! She seems more genuine with the kids as well. She looks smart in pink, she’s worn these things many times and does not feel the need to buy a new outfit every time she does an event also. The countess is one of my favorite royals.

    1. It’s so rare to see royals eat anything, so it was great to see Sophie actually eat a cookie.

        1. I had heard that Kate won’t eat in public because she fears being photographed with chewing and being caught in a picture with an unflattering pose. This was some years ago.

          1. Wasn’t that the excuse they threw out there for why Kate refused to eat the peanut paste while at the event with William, Crown Prince Frederik, and Crown Princess Mary where the other three ate the paste and Kate refused it, and everyone screamed “pregnant” because pregnant women are sometimes told not to eat peanuts while pregnant?

  2. Sophie has emotional intelligence and emotional maturity; she leavened just the right amount of both for the engagement. She was ‘in the present’ and inclusive enough to beckon a royal photographer to be part of the event for a child’s sake. Quite a contrast to the battles/games that W+K have with photographers at these events.

  3. Countess Sophie is indeed photogenic. She looked so pretty and stylishly chic. It was so nice to see a Royal eat something. Sophie seems like a person one could talk to quite easily.

    I so appreciate these presentations on many other Royals. They all are very interesting and well written. Thank you.

  4. Adore Sophie. She’s really come into her own and you can see how natural she is. She’s such a natural and you can tell she is empathetic. So different from the other two.

  5. Shamelessly love Sophie. She does her thing, and does it well. You see the compassion and care in her face and in her pictures, even when posing for the camera. Look how engaged she is with the children and the light in her eyes, the genuineness of her smiles for them–and their warmth echoing right back at her. She’s a great ambassador for Britain. Edward chose well.

  6. I read two other news articles on this event and neither one mentioned her wardrobe. Rather, they focused on the warmth and spontaneity of her interactions with the children, their families, and her speech. She’s a woman of substance who can transform the narrative from mere fashion and makeup to more meaningful issues unlike you know who.

    1. I was thinking the same thing. Since Sophie has more substance, poise and warmth, the focus is on what she is doing, not what she is wearing.

        1. Sorry, no stories. It was poor wording on my part. I believe Kate keeps her visits short, as though she is ‘looking at her watch’, because she cannot wait to leave and get home.

    1. “Sophie is adorable. She is smart and has a heart. Kate has a wardrobe” – Hi Carla, this is the best and (sadly) the most accurate comparison that has been made between Sophie and Kate.

      1. I don’t even think Kate’s wardrobe is any better… Sophie has made a few mistakes but stepped up her game in recent years. Plus, when you’re this warm and genuine, you can look good in just about anything!

  7. Summer’s comment about Sophie was so sweet. These events are about the children, not the other way around. Sophie obviously cares about her charity and jumped right in. As a result, the kids responded on kind. Even the parents were in awe. I think that she’s a gem. When you work hard and are committed to your charities, everything else is secondary.

    Thanks for such a.beautiful post, KMR!

    1. It is also clear from the pictures that she really enjoyed herself at this event! People respond to genuine enthusiasm and interest That cannot be faked. Adults may politely turn the blind eye to fakery but children won’t – that’s why I think that the fit between Kate and children’s charities is such an uncomfortable one. She doesn’t really appear very interested and children are quick to pick up on this. I really wish they’d stop trying to push this “children’s princess” thing and find her something she’s more comfortable doing.

      1. Well she now has the tennis patronage and we all know that’s one event she will make the effort for and will genuinely enjoy it!

      2. There is this assumption among some people that work/dealing with children is mostly easy and fun while in fact any teacher in primary school will argue how much hard work or stressful it can be.
        Also, usually people associated with children are more likeable to the general public. Finally, the ‘children’s princess’ is echoing Diana’s image.
        All the above have probably been considered when someone first sold this idea to Kate.
        Apparently she agreed or even it was hers idea in the first place, either way I think it’s clear that it has backfired on her image and proved a poor PR strategy.
        Watching the difference with Sophie, one can tell that Kate is hardly shining in the company of children. She should be sticking with tennis, after all.

    2. Completely agree. Fantastic that she’s supported them from the beginning; it’s wonderful to see how her patronage has truly benefited these families as featured in this visit. Love how she is always prepared, ponytail for a kid visit so hair isn’t in her face, and radiant warmth.

      1. Sophie wears her hair like this a lot, which sometimes I wish she’d wear it down but I think, like Victoria, she wears it up for comfort and ease. I get the impression that Sophie’s hair is rather fine and thin so I imagine wearing it back like this makes it appear a bit fuller and of course it’s a very neat, clean style.

  8. I just watched the interview Sophie gave on armed forces TV and while she did say ‘um’ a bit too much (and I do realize this was not a scripted conversation), she did not sound hesitant and stilted when she spoke. Sophie sounded intelligent and knowledgeable on the subject and not like a robot reading lines. Sophie has an upper class accent but she does not sound like she is working to sound that way. Kate, unfortunately sounds like she has a stick up her you know what and I hope with practice that she does get better at public speaking to a point where she does not sound like a Stepford wife.

    1. Hi LJA, i too just watched Sophie’s interview and wow, she really sounded like she knew a great deal about this event and the area that hosted it, And I liked that she shared a bit about herself with the reference to telemark skiing and I never would have pegged her as a snowboarder!! I wonder if she’s tried the half pipe yet? lol

  9. How cute is the little crown she drew on that fingerprint character? I’ve always liked Sophie, she seems to be a very warm, genuine woman and I think because of that she’s the Queens favorite. I also appreciate the fact that she knows what her role is and does it without complaint or fuss.

    I really liked this pink dress on her, the color is very flattering to her complexion and a great color for an event involving children. I might have styled it without the black tights and boots but at this time of year the tights and boots aren’t completely out of place. I really must find out what beauty products the Countess uses as she has such a beautiful complexion!

    Lastly, I love the little bit she said about the charity and reminding everyone that donations are always needed. It just goes to show that it doesn’t take much to make a difference.

  10. I really hope Prince Charles keeps Sophie and Edward on the rolls. She brings so much goodwill to the BRF through her appearances. If it weren’t for Sophie, Camilla and Anne we’d be stuck with the manic Kate and that would really be horrible.

    The little girl who gave her the Elsa compliment is a little beauty. She really looked thrilled to meet a member of the royal family. You just don’t get those kinds of looks from kids when they meet Kate.

  11. The pictures of Sophie decorating her cupcake with so much focus and then chowing down her creation, make me smile. Now this is what a patronage visit looks like! I think Sophie looks lovely and well put together too: no scary dark eyebrows, fake concern, loony grins and scuffed shoes and hunched shoulders. But then again, Sophie was a professional woman and a business owner prior to becoming a Countess thus she understands that you need to dress and carry yourself in a way that shows respect for your job and also to the people you will be meeting. Frankly, the careless way that Kate dresses show a disrespect for her job and that she couldn’t be bothered to look professional in front of the people that she will meet. I know this as I, like most females here and unlike Kate, actually have a professional career :p

    1. I don’t understand why when Kate was at university she dressed smart and in a classy nearly elegant way and then when Kate broke up with William her skirts became shorter and she did not cover up so much. Now when I look at Kate sometimes I cannot take her seriously.

      1. I think Kate started to dress sexier during the breakup in order to “show William what he was missing” in a bid to win him back.

        1. Thank you KMR. I actually did like the monochrome dress Kate wore but do be honest wouldn’t just doing something have been better. I think Kate is still trying with some of her dresses.

        2. IMO Kate’s behavior during this period was too ‘on display’ and immature for a future royal. I thought it was less than classy. With her ‘stand out’ behavior at the concert for Diana, I began to feel she was not a good choice for William.

          After the wedding I thought she may grow and change with the position. She promised to work hard, but alas…

          1. One of the rumoured reasons they kept breaking up was Kate’s demureness. William likes (or liked) wild girl – within the confines of a narrow social set.

            He repeatedly broke up with Kate to pursue wilder oats.

            The 2007 break up came about amidst a six month run of William cheating with various girls including a couple of girls he picked up in bars, a kiss and tell girl and 2 society blondes.

            All the while ignoring Kate. This was when she allegedly demanded he cut it out and he dumped her, seemingly for good.

            So Kate had to show him that she could be as wild as the girls he was chasing. The hemlines shortened, she flirted with all his friends and partied in the full glare of the media so that he would see and hear about it.

            Lucky for Kate, the girl William was deeply interested in at this time didn’t want him, so he ran back to Kate.

  12. The Countess consistently hits it out of the ball park and makes it look easy. Fabulous asset to the Royal Family. If only the DofC would spend time with her and take notes (lots of them!) on “Being an Effective and Successful Working Royal”.

      1. I thought William put the kibosh on her shadowing Sophie and said that he’d show her the ropes. At least, that’s how I remember it and that was about 5 years ago, right before they married.

  13. Loved this review and her. Look how she tucks the kiddos in close to her for the pictures; Kate always stands about four feet away and reaches over to touch the subject she is posing with (Sophie doesn’t seem to “pose”, she grabs the kid, snuggles in, and tells them to take the picture) like Stretch Armstrong…so far away and as if the subject had leprosy. I don’t understand why on EARTH they don’t pair these two up and have Sophie teach some HUMANITY to Kate. Good grief, if you have to appear in public because it is part of your royal job, then do a good job! You owe that to the taxpayers supporting you. As an American, I am just horrified at the poor representation you get from W and K. Anyway, Sophie seems to be such a “real” person and very personal. Good job, KMR.

    1. Might I add that she wore short sleeves? First, it was functional to what she was doing, but it also encouraged touch and closeness when she hugged the kids. Those are the small details that many overlook.

      1. Hi Rhiannon. Your comment has stayed with me for a few days. I hadn’t thought about it before but you are right –
        “Might I add that she wore short sleeves? First, it was functional to what she was doing, but it also encouraged touch and closeness when she hugged the kids”
        I hadn’t thought about it before but these children are terminally ill and people often don’t want to touch someone who is dying. Getting a hug from someone you admire (like a real live royal) could be just what you needed especially if the drugs aren’t doing as well as they could any more.
        I am really touched by your thoughtfulness and impressed that you could see that was what Sophie was doing.

        1. You are too kind for giving me that feedback. I’m sure they are tired of masked faces and gloves. These kids are normal kids who are facing extraordinary circumstances. They need to be treated as kids and with respect and love. Touch and close contact is encouraging for them.

          1. Well done, Rhiannon for this observation. I haven’t thought about it before and it really shows empathy from the Countess part.

  14. I saw a few of these pictures on another royal message forum but not the quotes from the kids. That Elsa comparison is too cute!! Also, like others have said, Sophie hit a homerun regarding this visit and dedication to her patronage. Her outfit was simple but lovely, hair wasn’t over the top or in her way, her smile warm and genuine, got involved and freely gave sincere compliments.

    Though she had her setbacks in the beginning (sheikh anyone?), she dusted herself off and plunged into her royal work with a vengeance. I too hope Charles doesn’t freeze out Edward and Sophie because that would place more pressure on the working royals left.

    Eddy? You done good and picked out a good one!! 🙂

    1. Well said Kimothy.
      I wonder too what will ever happen to Sophie’s patronages should her role will be restricted. Will Kate have to assume all this work? That’ll be the day!

  15. Sophie is amazing! Just so dedicated and so real. The interaction with the children was very touching. You could see on their faces that they enjoyed being with her. You could say the thing about her being with them, too.

    The comments she made (wrote) were more than the usual garbage that Kate seems to spew about. She mentioned how these visits are often so fast and that this time she could actually spend time with the children . So important to them and to the Hospice, itself.

    Eating the cookie was the final positive touch to a well planned and well carried out visit. She looked like she was enjoying that sweet.

    I also think she looked lovely in pink. Suits her coloring and was a soft and friendly look for the kids.

    Hooray for Sophie. Kate, pay attention, please. You could learn a great deal from her.

  16. I also liked how Sophie acknowledged in her foreword that royal visits patronage tend to be short, thus not providing a lot of room for interaction with the clients that the agency supports. Thus, Sophie chose to take the time and participate in this fun event and actually spend time with the kids.

  17. I think Sophie radiates warmth when she is with the children. Actually mucking in, eating a cookie to show that she isn’t snobby and highlighting her cause in a positive light. You can see the children had a good time whereas with Kate the children looked stiff and Kate’s body language looked uncomfortable. Even if Sophie was bored it never shows. It must be frustrating for Sophie being a good business woman having to give up her PR job but Sophie has found her niche.

  18. She is so genuine! Honestly, she has the most warmth of anyone in the royal family. She is their secret weapon :). Gotta love her!

  19. Sophie suits the phrase ‘quietly pretty’ – in all aspects of her life! She also shows that a ‘natural’ smile is equally as beautiful as the best orthodontic (and cosmetic) dentist wizardry money can buy!

  20. I like all of the pictures of the Countess. I cannot help but make comparisons, though. Sophie is much closer to my age (52) than she is to Kate’s, but the rate of aging between the two of them is quite astonishing. I think Kate and Sophie look as if they are about five years apart. I know I mention it often, but here, when I see Sophie’s very natural but polished look compared to the heavily-made-up look of Kate’s face, I think it contributes to the unnatural and aged look. This is write because I get so sick of the sugars talking about how fabulous Kate Middleton always looks. I mean, if you have eyes, you see that she is haggard and unhealthy unless she has had one of her bee venom facials, and is in the right light, which isn’t always feasible. I am sorry to always be down on Kate, but really, let’s be realistic about it. Sophie is just so much more than Kate.

    1. kate is soo heavily photoshopped, and every time her real features are in your face, you get a shook, shes looks awful, and awkard with kids, shes a nervous wreck, but hey she wasnt, when she was stalking william all over the place for years!!

  21. I love Sophie! She just seems so genuine. One of my favorite pictures of her is from her visit to Remus Sanctuary. She’s face to face with a blind horse. It’s a quiet yet powerful photo. Of all the royals, after the Queen I’d love to meet Sophie. You can keep wee willy and katie won’t. Give me Sophie

  22. Good if Sophie got Lady Louise’s hair done at a hairdressers and some lovely clothes instead of just concentrating on herself. Princess Mary’s daughters are always beautifully groomed.

  23. I think I’ve finally figured out why Kate has of late started reminding people of ‘her work’ in her speeches/PSA. I think this is in response to Sophie’s comment in a speech to the Hedge Fund ladies that she’s the only member of the RF who has ever held a job and understood demands of career.

    Kate used to reference the work of the royal foundation in her previous risible speeches. I remember this because my friends and I used to say she was so shameless about her own lack of involvement and was simply passing on the task to the royal foundation.

    Yet suddenly she’s referencing ‘her work’!!! If she was really working, and reading science papers as we were told, she wouldn’t be pushing the debunked idea that poor parenting and poor families are the core reasons for poor mental health and addictions.

    She’d have read that in her research papers.

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