She’s currently in Lebanon as part of her latest royal duties and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, has wasted no time impressing the locals.
It’s Sophie’s first visit to the country and follows the announcement she made earlier this year where she pledged her commitment to supporting the United Kingdom’s efforts in the Women, Peace and Security agenda (WPS) and the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI).
The 54-year-old’s day began by meeting a Syrian family at an informal settlement in the Bekaa Valley. The family is currently receiving assistance from the UN’s World Food Program.
During the surprise visit, Sophie found out more about the circumstances of the refugees in the settlement and how they are supported by UK and Lebanese efforts. The mother-of-two happily interacted with the families she met and opted for a casual blouse and stylish blue skirt for the first part of her visit.
She wore her luscious blonde locks in a bun and was photographed chatting with families and showing off her motherly instincts by sitting with some of the children she met.
Today, The Countess of Wessex has begun a #RoyalVisit in Lebanon. #RoyalVisitLebanon 🇱🇧🇬🇧 This morning Her Royal Highness visited an informal tented settlement in the Bekaa Valley at the start of her visit to Lebanon and met a Syrian family receiving UK funded assistance via the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP). They are supported by UK and Lebanese efforts.HRH then joined Reverend Nadim Nassar, Founder of the Awareness Foundation and the Foundation’s ‘Ambassadors for Peace’ to see how Syrian young people are building bridges of respect and understanding in their diverse communities. The Countess is Patron of the charity.In the afternoon, The Countess thanked British Embassy staff based in Beirut for their service in the region and then joined a roundtable discussion in her commitment to champion the UK’s work on #WomenPeaceSecurity and the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative.HRH joined Syrian women and NGOs who shared their insights and discussed how to tackle the barriers to ensuring women’s voices are heard and promoting their vital role in decision-making.
Later in the day, it was time for a quick outfit change as Sophie met with the founder of the Awareness Foundation. She is the royal patron for the foundation – which is an international charity striving for peace by education, equipping and empowering children and young people in Syria and Iraq to be agents of love and reconciliation.
The Awareness Foundation was founded in London in 2003 by The Revd Nadim Nassar and now offers a wide range of programs across the world in churches, universities, community centres and even prisons.
Sophie learned how Syrian young people are building bridges of respect and understanding in their diverse communities. She wore a stunning green, white and black dress for the event – which was complete with a floral design. Sophie accessorised with a pair of white shoes, smart watch and simplistic jewellery.
Later in the afternoon, the royal thanked British Embassy staff based in the city of Beirut for their service in the region, before joining a roundtable in her commitment to champion the United Kingdom’s work on WPS and PSVI. She was joined by women who shared their insights and discussed how to ensure women’s voices are heard and that they continue to play a role in the region’s decision-making.
The latest visit comes a month after Sophie visited India on behalf of The Queen Diamond Jubilee Trust, which aims to make a significant difference in the lives of people impacted by retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) – a condition affecting eyesight. During that visit, she met with parents and children impacted by ROP at the Kangaroo Mother Care Ward at Niloufer Hospital in Hyderabad.
Sophie and others help develop programs to detect and treat ROP and prevent young children from needlessly going blind and the visit was a chance for the royal to see the incredible work in action.