A full-time working member of the Royal Family, The Countess of Wessex splits her time between her work in support of The Queen and visits to a large number of her own charities and organisations. She has a wide range of interests which include supporting people with disabilities, the prevention of blindness in developing countries, agriculture and fashion.
Much of the day-to-day working life of The Countess of Wessex is taken up with her roles as Patron of over 70 charities and organisations. Each year, Her Royal Highness undertakes hundreds of visits to schools, universities, military bases and charity headquarters in order to learn more about their work, and to highlight it to the wider world.
The Countess of Wessex has a strong personal interest in the provisions for people with disabilities and embracing opportunities for young people, championing both local initiatives such as Disability Initiative in Surrey as well as national charities such as the NSPCC.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex established their foundation The Wessex Youth Trust in 1999 with a focus to help, support and advance registered charities which provide opportunities specifically for children and young people.
In 2019, the Wessex Youth Trust was renamed The Earl and Countess of Wessex Trust. Having met the charity’s original objective – supporting and advancing organisations which provide opportunities for children and young people – the Trust will now broaden its charitable endeavours beyond youth focused initiatives and will focus on developing strong relationships with a selected group of charities.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex founded The Wessex Youth Trust Shortly before their marriage in 1999. It offered grants and support to charities helping young people. The Trust benefited a broad cross-section of youth oriented causes, including hospitals and hospices, child protection and drug-prevention schemes, inner city drop-in centres, sex education initiatives, special educational needs libraries, sports facilities and arts groups. The Wessex Youth Trust distributed over £2.5 million to over 180 causes during its two successful decades.
In support of The Earl of Wessex, Her Royal Highness is also involved with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and chairs the Women in Business Group which works to promote the Award. In 2016 The Countess completed her challenge to cycle 445 miles from the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh to Buckingham Palace, as part of her Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Diamond Challenge.
During her challenge, The Countess wrote a blog on her experiences as she took part in the challenge to mark the 60th Anniversary of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
The Countess has also been the President of Girl Guiding UK since 2003.