World news story

Visit by HRH The Countess of Wessex and UK Government Minister

Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex will visit Zambia from 10-11 November in order to represent HM Queen Elizabeth II at the State funeral of the late President of Zambia, His Excellency Mr Michael Chilufya Sata.

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Her Royal Highness is the wife of the Queen’s youngest son, Edward. The UK Government will be represented by a senior Minister, Lord Popat of Harrow. The British High Commissioner James Thornton said:

“The British Government was greatly saddened by the death of President Sata. I am pleased that a leading member of the Royal Family will represent Her Majesty at the State funeral, and that a British Government Minister will also pay his respects”.

Further information:

  1. Her Royal Highness was born Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1965 in Oxford.

  2. After working in public relations for over a decade, in 1999 Miss Rhys-Jones married The Earl of Wessex, HM The Queen’s youngest son, in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. The Earl visited Zambia in October 2013.

  3. As The Countess of Wessex, Her Royal Highness acts in support of The Queen and of her husband in his roles, and undertakes public duties for a large number of her own charities.

  4. The Countess is particularly involved with charities relating to children, disabilities and communication problems.

  5. Further details about the Countess and her work can be found here

  6. Lord Popat is a UK Government Minister and is the Government’s Spokesperson in the House of Lords for the Department for Business, Skills and Innovation and the Department for Transport. Lord Popat’s website address is here

Lord Popat represented HM The Queen at the send off for His Excellency the late President Mr Michael Chilufya Sata at the Royal Suite at Heathrow on 31 October.

Published 7 November 2014