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Sophie melted hearts as she headed to the Guide Dogs hub on Wednesday, in the run-up to World Book Day falling on March 3. The Countess visited the charity’s Reading Hub Facility and met some of the members of the Children and Young People’s Services team to learn more about how the organization helps young people affected by impaired vision.
At the hub, Sophie also chatted with some of the children who have benefited from Guide Dogs’ ‘CustomEyes’ books – volumes presenting stories in large print to allow those with sight issues to read them.
One girl was wearing a Spider-Man costume, while another was dressed as a witch in celebration of World Book Day.
At the hub, Sophie also met some of the guide dogs on-site, including an enthusiastic black pet who licked her face.
After Guide Dogs took to social media to thank the Countess for her visit and shared a few snaps taken during the day, Twitter users were quick to praise the royal for her work.
Sophie visited a Guide Dogs hub on Wednesday
Sophie has been the patron of Guide Dogs since last year
Sophie wore a midi Alberta Ferretti skirt
One, @FearStephen, wrote: “#Dogs always recognize kind, genuine, & down to earth people, & HRH, The Countess of Wessex is certainly one of those!
“Probably one of the nicest members of @RoyalFamily that I’ve met.
“Glad it went well. #guidedogs matter.”
@Ann90335924 tweeted: “The way the dog looks at her!! Awwwwww!!”
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Sophie reading a book with one of the children at the hub on Wednesday
@fairygem1 also wrote: “I support this wonderful charity monthly and have helped train three different dogs. Thank you Sophie for your support.”
Another Twitter user, @LadyAngler68 said: “Love these pics. Obviously a true dog lover, and the dogs recognized this.”
Indeed, Sophie and her husband Prince Edward own two dogs, as the Earl of Wessex revealed during a virtual engagement in 2020.
Asked if the family had any pet, he quipped: “We do! We have two dogs and we’ve also got a tortoise – who basically runs the house!”
Sophie during the visit
Sophie owns two dogs and a tortoise
Another royal fan, @shaz_england, focused on the Countess’ outfit, saying: “Sophie is so elegant x”.
For this engagement, the Countess donned a black blazer, a matching roll neck shirt and a green Alberta Ferretti midi skirt.
The visit ended with Sophie making a clay handprint to mark the day.
Sophie took on the role of patron of Guide Dogs in July 2021.
Sophie and Prince Edward got married in 1999
At the time, she visited the Guide Dogs South West regional center in Bristol alongside Princess Alexandra, the 84-year-old cousin of the Queen.
Prior to passing the baton to Sophie, the princess had been the patron of Guide Dogs for 67 years.
As part of that engagement, the royals watched demonstrations of the charity’s dog and puppy training classes and discovered some of the ways Guide Dogs supports children who are blind or partially sighted.
But Sophie wasn’t new to Guide Dogs prior to that visit.
Sophie is the patron of several organizations helping people with impaired vision
The Countess, who has long been supporting organizations helping the visually impaired, visited the Guide Dogs center at Forfar in Scotland in 2019.
She also reached out to this hub in January 2021, to hear how the staff and organization were coping during the pandemic.
Sophie’s interests and focus aren’t limited to supporting charities helping the visually impaired.
The Countess is also a patron and supporter of several charities helping people with disabilities, women’s rights, the military and is actively working to raise awareness on the plague of gender-based violence in conflict areas.