Comment: ‘Sophie made an already emotional visit even more heartfelt’

They hoped to catch a glimpse of the royal couple. Instead, many received handshakes – and some even hugs.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex delighted members of the public today with a visit to Manchester to look at the tributes which had been paid to the late Queen.

People old and young stood side by side, waiting to catch a glimpse of Prince Edward and his wife, Sophie, as their car pulled up outside Manchester central library.

Upon arrival, Sophie swiftly began to embrace members of the public with handshakes.

A lucky few even received hugs from the Countess of Wessex, making an already emotional visit even more heartfelt.

The Countess of Wessex receives flowers and meets members of the public near Manchester Cathedral. Pictures: Mathilde Grandjean

For lots of members of the public, this brief interaction was a special one.

One woman, aged 96 – the same as the Queen when she died last Thursday – became particularly emotional after meeting Sophie, and even shed a few tears.

This trip to Manchester, only announced yesterday, was especially important to those who said they were unable to make the trip to London themselves. It made it possible for them to offer their sympathies to the royal family personally.

The people of Manchester certainly appeared grateful to the royal couple for the visit. It will undoubtedly be a moment they will never forget.

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