The Countess of Wessex has revealed that she received "a very wonderful birthday present" on Wednesday (20th January) as she celebrated her 56th birthday.
While joining a virtual conference with NHS general practice nurses and healthcare assistants at the Lincolnshire Training Hub, Sophie explained that her father, 89-year-old Christopher Bournes Rhys-Jones, received his first Covid-19 vaccination the day before her birthday.
Speaking with emotion during the video chat, Sophie expressed her deep gratitude to the NHS key workers who have been helping with the ongoing vaccination process.
"Thank you so much, to all of you," she said in a clip that has been shared on the official @TheRoyalFamily Instagram account.
"It doesn't matter which part of the system you're working in, whether you're general practitioner nurses, whether you're healthcare assistants, we all know how much this whole pandemic has put on you, and we're hugely grateful for all of your hard work."
The countess continued: "I had a very wonderful birthday present yesterday. It was an early birthday present because my father received his vaccine. He's 89 years old, and I'm so happy that he's actually got it. It's a huge weight off my mind."
Going on to describe her dad's experience of being vaccinated, Sophie added: "And he was full of praise for the way that it had been handled and how quick and easy and simple the whole process was, and I know that that wouldn't be happening without the care and attention of the nurses out in general surgeries."
What an incredible early birthday present for the countess!
Beyond taking the time to join the virtual conference with NHS staff, it's not known how Sophie celebrated her birthday on Wednesday. But we can assume that she enjoyed time with husband Prince Edward and their two children, 17-year-old Louise and James, 13, at their home in Surrey.
Many happy returns to the Countess of Wessex!
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