'I'm in better shape': Countess of Wessex says she is fitter than pre-lockdown

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·Royal Correspondent
·4 min read
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The Countess of Wessex has said she is fitter now than before the lockdowns in the UK, as she revealed how she kept fit during the pandemic.

Sophie, 56, said she has been keeping her fitness levels up by doing online gym classes.

She was speaking to Naga Munchetty on BBC Radio 5 Live, and the presenter asked her a series of quickfire lockdown questions, including whether she had been a slouch or an exerciser.

Sophie said: "An exerciser.

"I'm in better shape. I OD'd on online exercise classes through my gym.

"They went completely online."

Munchetty revealed she had taken up running during the lockdown to keep fit.

Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, spoke to Naga Munchetty about missing her father-in-law Prince Philip. (Royal Family)
Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, spoke to Naga Munchetty about missing her father-in-law Prince Philip. (Royal Family)

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Sophie admitted she had not always coped well during the lockdown, though said no one in their family had been particularly grumpy.

She said: "I think, every now and then, I certainly had the odd wobble, where I just couldn’t see an end to it, I couldn’t visualise how this was all going to pan out. Life, all the normal things that we could do… it was like sand through your hands. Nothing felt tangible anymore."

The countess added: "I think our whole foundation has been shaken by this. We’re putting so much faith in the scientists in coming up with vaccines, and, goodness, I’m just in awe of what they’ve done. 

"There will be more variants, we know that. Every time there is a new variant, we just have to hold our breath and hope that the vaccines are good enough to stand up against them. 

"So, how am I? Like everybody else I suppose: just taking one day at a time."

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Sophie, Countess of Wessex attends the launch of the Inspire a Generation programme at Finsbury Park on May 20, 2021 in London, England. The programme will give thousands of people the opportunity to try wheelchair basketball for the first time. (Photo by UK Press Pool/UK Press via Getty Images)
Sophie trying wheelchair basketball at the launch of the Inspire a Generation programme at Finsbury Park in May 2021 in London. (UK Press Pool/UK Press via Getty Images)

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But the countess acknowledged they were fortunate to have a large house and outside space, and said their dogs were "begging to not be walked" within a few months.

The Wessex family lives in Bagshot Park, about 10 miles from Windsor Castle, where the Queen has been living during the pandemic.

Sophie and the Queen have been reported to be close for many years, with one report even saying they watch films together on Sunday afternoons.

The Sunday Times revealed that the Queen had enjoyed Line of Duty during lockdown, and Sophie also named it as her favourite show.

Asked if she was a boxset binger she said yes, and then said she watched the programme - though she mistakenly called it Call of Duty, which is a video game.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 25:  Sophie, Countess of Wessex poses with her family James, Viscount Severn, Lady Louise Windsor and Edward, Earl of Wessex in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace after finishing her bike ride from Edinburgh to London in support of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award on September 25, 2016 in London, England. The Countess and the other riders were presented with a Diamond Pin to mark the completion of the Diamond Challenge. The Countess of Wessex cycled 445 miles from the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh to Buckingham Palace, London over seven days as her 'Diamond Challenge' - a special initiative marking the 60th anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage)
Sophie with her family James, Viscount Severn, Lady Louise Windsor and Edward, Earl of Wessex in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace after finishing her bike ride from Edinburgh to London in support of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award in 2016. (Anwar Hussein/WireImage)

Read more: Sophie says Prince Philip's death left 'giant-sized hole' in Royal Family

She said: "I am so bad at remembering the names of anything, whether it comes to books, whether it comes to programmes, films, anything."

She also said she did guess who H was, saying: "I was really disappointed in myself for having guessed it.

"I kept on thinking 'It can’t be. It can’t be him but it’s got to be'."

She did not divulge if the Queen had worked it out.

Sophie's love of exercise has been part of her work in the past, as she completed a 450 mile cycling challenge in 2016 to raise money for the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme.

And in October 2020 she joined part of the route with a London marathon runner who was taking part in the virtual race to raise money for Mencap.

The countess carries out full time duties on behalf of the Queen alongside her husband Edward, who is the Queen's youngest son.

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