Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex bring their kids to the zoo

Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex bring their kids to the zoo

Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex brought their kids, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn, along on a visit to the Bristol Zoo.

Edward is Patron of the Bristol Zoological Society and he was there to officially open the new Mahali Pori exhibit. The new exhibit is located in Wild Place Project, an extension to Bristol Zoo, and houses three cheetahs. The exhibit will help raise awareness of conservation for the cheetah, of which there are fewer than 10,000 in the wild.

Prince Edward opens Mahali Pori exhibit at Bristol zoo
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Wild Place hopes to inspire families to enjoy nature while discovering wildlife from the UK and around the world with an emphasis on protecting threatened habitats.

Wessex family at the Bristol Zoo plaque
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During the two hour visit, Edward met with the zoological society to hear more on their work to save wildlife through conservation.

Wessex family feeding meerkats 3
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Edward, Sophie, Louise, and James were given a tour of the park where they fed meerkats. James decided to put some crickets down Edward’s back instead of feeding them to the animals.

Wessex family feeding meerkats 2
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Wessex family feeding meerkats 5
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Edward and Sophie’s reactions.

The family also viewed the lemur enclosure.

Wessex family lemurs Bristol zoo
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The Wessexes also met Afia, a nine-week-old baby Western lowland gorilla. Afia was born in February via an emergency cesarean section – a procedure which has rarely been carried out on gorillas. Afia is being hand-reared by a round-the-clock team of experienced gorilla keepers at the zoo and is doing well.

Afia baby gorilla Bristol zoo
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Sophie Bristol Zoo baby gorilla 3
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Wessex family at the Bristol Zoo
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A royal source said:

    “The whole family thoroughly enjoyed the visit. The Earl has been patron of the Bristol Zoological Society for three years and has been very impressed by their education and conservation programmes. Both he and the Countess were keen to show their children the effort places like Wild Place Project put into conserving endangered animals. They were all fascinated by the cheetahs and the children really enjoyed feeding the lemurs and the meerkats.”


PS. Sophie also brought Louise to another engagement on April 16. Sophie, as President of Girlguiding, opened their newly refurbished head office in London.

Sophie wore her red Sportmax “Maesa” coat (which is damn expensive at £1,065.00) she wore to Easter service, while Louise wore her Girlguiding uniform.

32 thoughts on “Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex bring their kids to the zoo

      1. That makes sense. It must be their logo. I couldn’t figure out the design at first. It looked like a square with a Celtic knot in it to me!

  1. I like this family. They do their thing without much fanfare and do a good job supporting the Queen. How cute of James to tease his father in front of cameras. This is how it should be…don’t worry about everything being perfect. Have fun and enjoy the moments. Sweet family or so it appears…am hoping it’s all true.

    1. I agree with you Kat, great family! And I like how Sophie and Edward are introducing their children to life as a royal by going to engagements.

      1. Their children will not ever have to do Royal engagements, except the trip to Church at Christmas and a very few major milestone events. With the right encouragement from their parents they will hopefully be involved in serious charity work throughout their lives though. Their Uncle , then cousin will be King which will give them some clout.
        They do seem like a happy family and by including the children it will encourage other families to visit the zoo.

        1. Birdy, will they be considered “lavishly” royal and wealthy or will they be allowed/ able to pursue a career of their choice? Being American, I often wonder about the royal cousins of the queen; do they have loads of money and vast estates or do they live fairly simply and have careers, “normal” lives and interests?

      2. My personal feeling is that by taking the children along with them on engagements the children will get a sense of where they fit in the world as well as getting an idea of what their parents do. Louise and James may not be top level royals but (IMO) by starting them to see the parents “giving back” it will help install and reinforce their grandmother’s ideals of service to others.

  2. Nice to see James out and about! He seems to have quite a mischievous streak. And it’s great that Sophie took Louise to another engagement–she’s really teaching her daughter to take up the reins one day.

    (I keep hearing Simon and Garfunkel’s “At the Zoo” as I’m writing this)

    1. Do you think James was very ‘naughty’ when he was young?!! I think it is great they are relaxed even with the cameras …..something Will and Kate should take note of.

      1. I agree. I think that putting their children in front of the cameras in a controlled environment, at a young age, will help Louise and James adjust normally. Cameras will be a norm and not a shock. I think W+K are only cultivating a poor relationship between their children and the press. They’re doing George and Charlotte a huge disservice by not having a more positive and open attitude.

  3. I love this family. They seem to really care about each other and the photos don’t come across as staged. Yes Sophies coat is pricey but I bet we’ll see it again. I do wish kate would ask Sophie for pointers

    1. I get the sense Edward and Sophie are teaching their children to enjoy meeting people, the love of animals and caring about their community. So unlike W&K, who live within their large four walls and seem to care about nothing but themselves.

    2. I wish Kate would ask *any* of the other royal women for pointers (except maybe Prince Michael). They all bring something to the table and excel at their events. However, I think we all know W+K have way too big of an ego to ask others for help. Sophie is elegant, warm, and has significantly stepped up her style game!

  4. Thank you KMR. This was a very special post that made me smile. Guess it was due to the naturalness of the photos and zoo animals…

  5. Those are some adorable lemurs and meerkats. I love the meerkats playing in the colored balls. And the crickets down Edwards back is so funny. I really like this family!

  6. Sophie doesn’t get much attention in the press, but she has good style and looks younger than her 50 years! Great skin, not much makeup.

    Why do royals keep their coats on inside? Kate does this as well. It looks odd.

  7. I really like this family and am always so glad to see items about them. James is a little scamp. Louis is growing so fast. If PC really goes through with whittling down The Firm, he will sorely miss having Edward and Sophie available for work. I think they are an asset to the family.

  8. Louise looks adorable. Surprised the Kate sugars aren’t saying that Louise is copying Kate’s hair because it’s half-up. 😉

    I love that Sophie’s jeans seem to be a real, substantial, denim and not some flimsy, worn-out, jegging material. Her flat shoes are stylish, yet appropriate for mucking around with animals. She looks fashionable, elegant, and perfect for this casual, family event. Sophie continues to be my favorite member of the BRF.

  9. Well, this is cute. A family visiting a zoo. I can’t help but be a bit suspicious that this may be a counter action to Bill and Cathy Middleton’s atrocious actions as of late. Damage control perhaps? I am cynical but I can’t see James putting crickets down his father’s back w/o prompting. One thing I have noticed is that the older Billy gets the more he resembles his Uncle Edward.
    Whatever the reason and no matter how cynical I am I for sure agree that this family looks relaxed together and very natural. Not staged (well, except for the cricket thing) and dressed appropriately even with Sophie’s uber expensive coat since Edward is patron.

  10. Great family photos and how fun to have time together at the zoo.
    I found myself wishing I was there, too.

    There is something so very heart-warming about seeing parents and their childten interact in such a loving way. I think there’s a great deal of love between these four and they are not ones to hide it. Yet, they also have a good amount of dignity.

    KMR, how busy you are. So much is going on now. I hope you had a bit of a rest and that you will be able to have a bit more.

  11. I love this family! They are so refreshing and they also exemplify how modern Royalty should act and behave. Like you all stated above, they are introducing their children to the cameras which in turn will make them comfortable in these situations in the future. Although sadly they probably won’t get to do a lot or Royal work when they are older. It’s all about the William + Kate show.

    1. When Charles’s finally ascends he wants to trim down the monarchy. Which to me is a mistake. He has a lot a strong and valuable siblings and they’re spouse’s and children. He should utilize they’re them in engagements. Charles has two sons. William who is work shy. Harry who has the capability, connection, and the touch. Yet always seems to be over looked. Which is ridiculous. Kensington Palace always spinning the spotlight to William and Kate. Yes they will be King and Queen Consort of England. They are so lazy and boring.

      1. I completely agree, Eleanor. In fact, I was going to comment on how Charles plans to make his Royal family inner circle much smaller, but decided agains it. The UPS driver arrived 🙂 To some extent, you can already see even Harry pushed aside a bit which to me is a mistake. Although I do think W+K will use Harry in the future to do work they don’t want to do. Or visit countries that aren’t so much like a Holiday.

        Princess Anne works circles around everyone and she is often forgotten as well. Charles seems to be so odd and distant around his siblings. It’s very strange. From what I can tell, the public sees HM as the one and only monarchy. It will be a slippery slope for Charles when his mother is no longer here. And William can’t come out and be so bossy. Just reading comments on other boards, many British taxpayers have had enough of it.

        1. That’s very insightful what you just said. I think it’ll be up to Charles to ensure that the global respect that his mother had earned for the monarchy, he is able to hold onto it,

        2. And never mind that William will have a tougher time keeping up his arrogant behaviour, once he will be the direct heir and will no longer have granny’s stature and workload to hide behind. What will happen to Kate then, once she will HAVE to do more work?

  12. I’m a not U.K. tax payer. Yet I’m pissed off. I cannot comprehend why two thirty somethings cannot grasp the idea of work. I have commented in the past on this blog. William with his “normal”. Here’s a news flash William your not normal. Your a future King of England. Start acting like it. If you just want to be normal. Step down go work full time and support your family on your own dime. Yet he will not do that. Too self absorbed and a brat.

  13. Such a sweet family! Lady Louise is growing up so fast. It is nice to see James as we did not get to see him much when he was younger. I think that it’s a shame that they might not be utilized under Charles’ reign. Both are testament to starting out the gate and making mistakes in royal life, yet turning it around. I have a lot of respect for the both of them.

    Thanks for highlighting the Wessex family, KMR!

  14. I enjoy seeing this family out and about. James looks very interested in what he is seeing at Bristol Zoo and Louise grows more pretty each time I see her. Sophie taking Louise to the girl-guiding event is instilling a sense of duty in Louise. Louise does look like her grandmother and Anne. I hope Louise gets to do some duties when she is older and that Edward, Sophie and Anne are used in the future. James looks a fun loving boy though quiet which isn’t a bad thing. What a sweet baby gorilla. I bet that family day out was enjoyable for all. No staged photos or fancy dress.

  15. Afia and the crickets were some of the best photos yet! Aside from this being a royal family with special access to the exhibits, it looked like it could have been any old family fun day!

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