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  • Rachel Burchfield

Against the odds, Edward and Sophie celebrate 20 years of marriage today

They garner little to no press attention – just how they’d like it. Their lives, despite being Royal, are rather boring in comparison to Royal siblings Charles, Anne, and Andrew. They are an anomaly, amazing even, in their normalcy. And today, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, celebrate 20 years of marriage.

Before there were the love stories of William and Kate, Harry and Meghan, and even Jack and Eugenie, it was the mid-1990s and Charles and Diana and Andrew and Fergie had both divorced in the same year, 1996, after four years of being separated; in 1992, as the aforementioned two marriages blew up, so did the Queen’s only other married child’s marriage – Anne divorced and then remarried all within the same year. Adultery was a part of each of these three marriages. Royal marriages, in the middle of the 1990s, were a farce, a joke. And then, in 1997, Diana died, taking with her seemingly all that was to look forward to from the monarchy and leaving us with, well, with not much.

That was the scene Edward and Sophie married into on June 19, 1999. They knew, as the fourth and final chance of the Queen’s four children to get it right after the prior three siblings had failed stupendously, that they had to do just that: Get it right. That’s why, after meeting in 1993, the couple dated for six years before, in January 1999, Edward finally proposed. Sophie responded with a sweet, excited “Yes. Yes please.”

By far the most “common” Royal bride of the era, Sophie was a public relations executive right up until and even after her marriage, staying in the field until 2002. The daughter of a tire salesman and a typist, not even Kate – whose family business is worth upwards of 30 million pounds – or Meghan, whose family worked on TV sets in Hollywood, is this normal. Since their wedding 20 years ago, Edward and Sophie have quietly raised Louise and James while working tirelessly for the Family, often undercover, okay with and even happy to not get the press attention their nephews and their wives do.

At the end of the day, the two just love each other; there are no bells and whistles to it – none are needed. It’s that simple. As Edward said before their wedding, “We happen to love each other, which is the most important thing of all.”

Happy anniversary to the Wessexes – and many more.

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