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You suddenly realise they’re not there – Sophie reflects on death of Philip

·2-min read

The Countess of Wessex has reflected on the loss of the Duke of Edinburgh amid a tumultuous year for the royal family.

In an interview with BBC Radio 5’s Naga Munchetty, Sophie also discussed the ongoing prevalence of rape and sexual violence as weapons of war in global conflicts as well as the importance of raising awareness of the cause and supporting its survivors.

The 55-year-old noted the difficulty of grieving in public following Philip’s death.

“It’s only when you do the normal things you would have done with them and you suddenly realise that they are not there, that you start to have an ‘Oh my goodness’ moment,” the countess told the BBC.

Sophie has previously described the “shock” of Philip’s death on April 9, which prompted an outpouring of grief from across the UK and abroad.

“It’s such a shock but at the same time you know it’s going to happen but when it happens it’s just this massive, massive hole,” she had said.

Earlier this month, the countess told The Telegraph Magazine the royals are “still a family no matter what happens” following tensions earlier this year in the aftermath of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Duchess of Wessex sits at a laptop
Sophie has said sexual violence is thought to have ‘risen substantially’ since the pandemic began (Buckingham Palace/PA)

Sophie in January also admitted hearing the stories of sexual violence survivors had taken her to “some very dark places” during her work to raise awareness about their plight.

The countess publicly committed herself to supporting the UK’s work helping victims of rape, sexual violence and exploitation in war on International Women’s Day in 2019.

In an address at a virtual UN event for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict in June 2020, Sophie said sexual violence in the home or during conflicts is likely to have “risen substantially” during the pandemic.

She reaffirmed her commitment to champion the Women, Peace and Security agenda and the UK’s Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative in her BBC interview, recorded at St James’s Palace earlier this week ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict on June 19.

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