Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Photo marks Edward's 50th birthday

The Earl of Wessex and his family

An informal photograph of the Earl of Wessex looking relaxed surrounded by his wife and children has been released to mark his 50th birthday.

Edward, who celebrates the milestone today, is pictured with the Countess of Wessex, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.

The image was taken by Millie Pilkington in the dining room of their Berkshire home, Bagshot Park.

Ms Pilkington was the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's private wedding photographer who took informal pictures throughout the couple's big day.

In the new image Edward is flanked by his son, six, and 10-year-old daughter with his wife just behind his left shoulder.

The Earl and Countess were married at St George's Chapel in Windsor on June 19, 1999, after a mutual passion for an ancient sport brought them together.

Romance blossomed when Edward, 49, and Sophie, 49, met at a real tennis event in the early 1990s.

Today the couple will take part in two engagements in support of the Wessex Youth Trust (WYT), the charity they set up shortly before they married.

They will visit Robert Browning Community School in Walworth, south London, to see the work of youth charity Kidscape, the recipient of a grant from WYT in support of their Bullying Intervention Programme.

Later they will visit London's Air Ambulance to see how a grant from WYT has helped support their work, funding paediatric training mannequins.

In the afternoon the couple will join the Queen and other senior members of the Royal Family at the Commonwealth Observance Service at Westminster Abbey.

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