The Duchess of Edinburgh marked the first anniversary of the death of her late mother-in-law, the Queen, with a hobby they both enjoyed.
Sophie, 57, looked relaxed on the emotional day as she attended the international trials at Cornbury House in Oxfordshire.
Prince Edward’s wife was very close to Queen Elizabeth II and was known as one of her closest confidants.
The couple formed a close bond after losing their own mother, Mary Rhys-Jones, to stomach cancer in 2005, aged 71, when her daughter Lady Louise Windsor was only only two years.
But today the Duchess looked positive as she enjoyed the equestrian events and was beaming as she arrived at the event in the sunshine.
Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh (pictured), marked the first anniversary of her mother-in-law’s death with a hobby they both enjoyed: horse racing.
The Duchess donned a sophisticated pinstriped shirt dress with a flowing silhouette, perfect for today’s warm weather.
She accessorized the outfit with a pair of summery nude-colored espadrilles with ballet-style tie laces around the ankles.
Sophie approached the emotional day with a smile on her face, as she was photographed with her friend Mark Foster Brown.
The mother of two also had the opportunity to meet the event’s lead rider, Harry Meade.
She spent the day with the chairman of Cornbury House, David Howden, and his wife Fiona.
Sophie took part in the Cornbury House trials just a day after her married niece, Zara Tindall, 42, took part in the cross country portion of the competition.
The royal family is known for their love of horses, especially the late Queen.
In recent years, Sophie, who was a rock for the Queen, took up horse riding as a hobby in order to bond with the Queen.
Speaking in 2021, a friend said: “Sophie has set herself a series of tasks. She learned to ride properly and now rides with the Queen at least once a week.
“She started driving a carriage to be close to Philip,” they added.
Sophie has previously spoken openly about her heartbreak, after opening up about a tragic miscarriage she suffered in 2001.
Meanwhile, in 2005, Sophie lost her mother. The Duchess spoke about her mother’s death last year during a speech to members of the Women’s Institute at their annual meeting in June 2021.
She said of her significant other that she misses her a lot and there are times when I hear music that she loved or do something that I know she would have wanted to hear which makes her go anticipated very difficult.
“She missed out on so much and I’m especially sad that she didn’t get to see my children grow up or see how my work grew and developed,” she added.
“She would have loved for me to talk to you today,” she added.
Sophie (pictured right) was pictured spending the day with Fiona Howden (pictured left), wife of Cornbury House Speaker David Howden.
The royal, who developed a close relationship with the late Queen, was pictured with Mark Foster Brown (pictured right)
At the time of Mrs Rhys-Jones’ death, a statement from Buckingham Palace said: “The Countess was very close to her mother and this is a very sad time.
“She is comforted by her husband but she is deeply saddened.”
After her mother’s death, Sophie grew closer to the Queen, who she was heard calling “mum” on occasion, including at a Diamond Jubilee Trust event at Buckingham Palace in 2019.
In recent years, former aides have previously described the Queen’s relationship with Sophie as “like mother and daughter”, adding: “There is a lot of love and mutual respect between them. »
And in 2021, a tearful Duchess described the Queen as “amazing” as she and her husband Prince Edward comforted Her Majesty at Windsor Castle following the death of her husband Prince Philip.
Prince Edward and Sophie were the first to visit the grieving monarch after the Duke of Edinburgh’s death, and as they left the castle Sophie was visibly upset.
At the time, she was described as part of a group of four people providing support to the monarch.
“Sophie is like another daughter of the Queen, they are so close,” a royal source said. “We trust her and count on her like few others.”
And speaking in June 2021, royal expert Duncan Larcombe told The Sun: “Sophie has become 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 that Her Majesty is fully supported by the family.
“Since the Duke’s death in April, Sophie has traveled the 16 miles from her Bagshot Park home to Windsor Castle every few days and most weekends to spend socially distanced time with Her Majesty.”
Sophie took part in the Cornbury House Trials just a day after her married niece, Zara Tindall, 42, took part in the cross country portion of the competition.
The mother-of-two also had the opportunity to meet the event’s lead rider, Harry Meade (far left).
On days when she could not visit the Queen in person, the Duchess “made it a point of honor to call her mother-in-law at least once a day”.
Last year, the Duchess was openly emotional while mourning the Queen in public.
Sophie looked very somber as she arrived at Balmoral alongside the Duke of Cambridge and Cornwall, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex.
Meanwhile, she was pictured crying at the funeral last September alongside other members of the royal family.
Sophie was struck by tragedy early in her marriage to Prince Edward, when she suffered a miscarriage following an ectopic pregnancy in 2001.
Prince Edward spoke to the press as his wife recovered in hospital, saying: “It’s obviously a very traumatic time and my wife has… It’s the most painful thing anyone can do undergo.
“It’s quite a traumatic experience. As the pain subsides, the relief increases. I want to thank all the medical team who did a fantastic job, reacted so quickly and handled things so professionally,” he added.
Sophie and Prince Edward then welcomed their daughter Lady Louise Windsor, now 19, in 2003, and their son James Viscount Severn, 15, in 2007.