It might seem like it’s all about Meghan Markle these days, but the Countess of Wessex proved that the royal family is filled with fashionistas as she looked fresh-faced and pretty in pink at a service honouring wartime nurses.
Ever the picture of elegance, Prince Edward’s wife showed off her style credentials in the pink and purple block-patterned frock for the event at the National Memorial Arboretum, in Staffordshire, UK, on Monday.
The 53-year-old mother of two donned the unusual dress as she paid tribute to the professional and Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) nurses who served throughout World War One and World War Two.
Sophie, who married the Queen’s youngest son in 1999, looked radiant as she posed for photos at the event in the ankle-length dress, which she teamed with a cropped red cardigan and classic nude, heeled shoes. She accessorised the demure outfit with a simple silver pendant and matching stud earrings, while carrying a sophisticated monogrammed clutch bag in a complementary plum hue.
The memorial, at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, is shaped like a globe held between two bronze hands and bears the names of almost 1,300 wartime nurses who lost their lives as a direct result of their service.
Joining Sophie at the unveiling was Ethel Lote, 97, from the West Midlands, who worked as a nurse at Burntwood Military Hospital in Staffordshire and helped care for the first convoy of injured soldiers from Dunkirk. Mrs Lote, who only recently fully retired at the grand old age of 90, told the BBC: “They were still in the uniforms, just how they had been picked up from the beaches.
The Countess of Wessex, Patron of the Nursing Memorial Appeal, today attended a Service of Dedication at the @nat_mem_arb. The appeal was launched in 2011 to recognise and remember the 1,500 nurses who gave their lives during WW1 & WW2. Today a permanent memorial, that lists the name of every professional and Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) nurse who died in the conflicts, was unveiled.
“We had the first 100 patients. It was terrible, I’d just started training as a nurse, to see these men and their injuries, a lot of them were burned or had shrapnel wounds.”
Sophie, who is mum to Lady Louise Windsor, 14, and James, Viscount Severn, 10, is the patron of the Nursing Memorial Appeal, which was launched in 2011 to commemorate the work and sacrifice of these nurses and has been working for more than six years to fundraise for the permanent monument.