One royal family member has been dubbed the "secret weapon"

And it's not who you would expect...

Royal family
(Image credit: Getty Images)

King Charles and the Princess of Wales are both recovering from surgery, having released statements about their respective health issues earlier this month. 

The news, while reportedly nothing to be concerned about, has seen both royals temporarily pause their duties, as has Prince William in order to look after his wife and children.

And with multiple senior royals currently out of action, a few reliable family members have been put front and centre. 

One unexpected royal family member has proven to be particularly important, with her role elevated. In fact, she has actually been dubbed one of King Charles' "secret weapons." 

The royal in choice? Sophie Wessex, now Duchess of Edinburgh

Sophie Wessex

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sophie Wessex, wife to Prince Edward has been a steady presence in the royal fold for almost 25 years, credited for her warmth, relatability and "common touch". And according to royal experts, she has been recognised as one of the Mountbatten-Windsors' greatest assets.

"It is so much more evident now that Sophie is a key member of the list of working royals," explained former BBC royal correspondent Jennie Bond, via OK! Magazine. "I think people have really taken her into their hearts, especially after she showed her obvious grief at losing Prince Philip and the Queen."

She continued in her column for i News online: "There is no doubt that Sophie’s star is in the ascendancy. She may be the monarchy’s secret weapon whenever the going gets tough."

Queen Elizabeth Sophie Wessex

(Image credit: Getty Images)

This is not the first time that the 59-year-old has been recognised for her significant role, with the late Queen reported to have counted Sophie as one of her most trusted family members.

"[The Queen] finds Sophie’s presence soothing," a source previously told The Sun. "She is trusted and relied on by the Queen in a way I couldn’t say applied to the Duchess of Cambridge or the Duchess of Cornwall."

The source continued: "She is like another daughter to Her Majesty, they are that close."

We will continued to update this story.

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.