‘Meant to be!’ Sophie Wessex meets 90-year-old she called fortnightly in pandemic

The Countess of Wessex, 57, offered up her time to the Royal Voluntary Service Check-in and Chat line, which reached out to those self-isolating at home. Sophie and 90-year-old Edna soon built a strong rapport through regular conversations.

The long-anticipated meeting between the Countess of Wessex and Edna coincided with the pensioner’s 90th birthday.

The two marked the occasion with an outing at Newsham House for afternoon tea.

Edna and Sophie began talking in April 2020, and their relationship flourished from there.

Sitting next to each other on a sofa, the Countess of Wessex recounted how they had discussed that moment numerous times.

Liverpool-born Edna asked: “Who else would get anything like this for their 90th birthday?”

The culmination of an almost-two-year journey, Sophie called the meeting “meant to be”.

In 2021, the Queen and the Duchess of Cornwall lauded the efforts of all those involved in the Royal Voluntary Service.

Her Majesty said: “I think it’s wonderful work.”

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They said: “Like many of our existing and long-standing volunteers, the Countess of Wessex has completed the required training to become a care volunteer in support of the NHS vaccination programme.

“We’re delighted to welcome the Countess, as the Grand President of St John Ambulance, to a growing team of over 10,000 volunteers who are now trained and being deployed to NHS vaccination centres all over England, in an extraordinary collective effort to beat the pandemic.”

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