Sophie, Countess of Wessex, is one of the most talked-about women in the world - known for her hard work and dedication to the fold, as well as some iconic fashion statements (she is reportedly one of Princess Kate's biggest style advisors).
This year, it was her birth to her first child Lady Louise Windsor, now 19, that made headlines as dramatic details from 2003 resurfaced in a royal podcast.
A recent episode of HELLO's A Right Royal Podcast saw the Queen's former press secretary, Ailsa Anderson, open up about Sophie's dramatic birth to Lady Louise, when she was just 36 weeks pregnant.
According to Anderson, Prince Edward was abroad in Mauritius when his wife went into early labour. And while the Earl of Wessex urgently tried to get home to be by her side, he didn't arrive in time for the birth, with Anderson tasked with looking after the Countess.
"I remember I was sitting at home. We're having a dinner party. Actually, I got a call from Marcus Setchell, who was the Queen's gynaecologist who was overseeing the birth," Anderson recalled. "He said, 'I'm in a police car on my way to Frimley Park hospital. You better come'. So I thought, crikey. So, I ordered a taxi, let my husband do the washing up, which I think was a first in our marriage, and got myself down to Frimley Park.
"But the Earl of Wessex was abroad on an official visit," she continued "They couldn't get a hold of her parents. So basically, it was just me and Marcus and the courtiers in the hospital. It was so dramatic."
Late that night, Sophie gave birth to Lady Louise via an emergency C-section at Surrey's Frimley Park NHS Hospital on Saturday 8 November.
"Her Royal Highness and her daughter are both stable," the Palace announced at the time in an official statement. "As a purely precautionary measure, the baby was taken to the regional neo natal unit at St George's Hospital, Tooting.
"The Earl of Wessex, who was on an official visit to Mauritius, flew home early to be with his wife and daughter. His Royal Highness has now cancelled or postponed planned engagements for the early part of this week.
"The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are being kept informed of the progress of both the Countess and her baby, and they are very pleased that they are both doing well. Her Royal Highness and her daughter will remain in hospital for the foreseeable future."
Sophie Wessex gave birth to her second child James Viscount Severn, now 15, in December 2007, also by C-section at Frimley Park.
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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.
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