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Prince Philip has seen many royal brides and wives come and go. Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson among them. One royal marriage among those of his children has stood the test of time. Prince Edward and Sophie Countess of Wessex have been married since 1999.

Prince Edward is the only one of Philip and Queen Elizabeth II’s children not to have gone through divorce.

However, this may not be the only reason she is a favourite of the stern Prince Philip, a military man.

An expert pointed to her lack of intimidation around the Duke of Edinburgh, as well as her attitude to work.

Sophie has worked tirelessly as a working member of the Royal Family.

What is more, she is one of the few royal brides to have held down a successful career before marring a Prince. Sophie started her own PR firm and continued to work privately for a couple of years before leaving that job to dedicate herself to “The Firm”.

Body language expert Judi James analysed her relationship with Prince Philip.

Judi told Express.co.uk exclusively: “The royal bride who quietly lasted the course while the marriages of the other brides of her generation dissolved in tears and anguish, Sophie might just have become Philip’s favourite and not just because she is last bride standing.

“Sophie appears to be quietly firm, practical, professional and caring.”

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Judi makes comparisons between Sophie and another of Philip’s favourite women, his daughter Princess Anne.

“Like Anne she isn’t given to complaining or show-boating, she just gets on with the job,” Judi said.

“She also appears to be a bit of a healthy match for her father-in law, showing none of the signs of either intimidation or a desire to impress him that other brides have shown.

“She has clearly made a strong marriage to Philip’s ‘problem son’ who quit the marines for showbiz against his father’s wishes and she seems to take the same warm, no-nonsense approach to Philip.

“The pair often seem engrossed in conversation, often leaning together with a bend of the heads that suggests trust as well as like-minded thinking.”

Another royal bride who the expert considers a match for the prince is former-actress Meghan Markle.

While the American-born TV actress and the Greek prince seem to have little in common, the expert disagrees.

Judi said: “Had she not bolted back to the US and had she not been a feminist with a very successful career of her own before marrying into the Firm, Meghan could well have been a good match for the prince, even back in his heyday.

“Meghan has shown the kind of levels of eloquence, confidence and dedication to important causes that Philip might have admired.

“Sadly this relationship never really got off the ground and there are no moments between the two that have been caught on camera, apart from when Meghan is walking behind the front-rank royals or when the Queen and Philip had a visit from Archie.”

Judi went on: “The two women closest to the prince: his wife and his daughter Anne, are both stoic non-complainers infused with a dedication to duty and hard work.

“They seem to share Philip’s sense of humour and admire his old-world, masculine gallantry in a way that a more modern woman might not.”

The royal line of succession – who outranks who?

The line of succession to the British throne dictates the order in which each member of the Royal Family would ascend to the throne.

It is also seen as a ranking of importance with the head of the line, the Queen, taking the place of ruler.

Older children come before younger children. Traditionally boys came before girls, but this law was changed on 26 March 2015 before the birth of Prince William’s first child.

Incredibly, Catholics are still excluded from the line of succession, as are children born outside of wedlock.

The royals, who usually stick to a strict protocol when appearing in public, often arrive at events in ascending order of importance, with the most important royal arriving last.

Prince Charles, 71, is currently second-in-line to the British throne, followed by Prince William, 38, his oldest son.

Then comes Prince William’s children, George, seven, Charlotte, five, and Louis, two, and they are followed by Prince Harry, 35. Prince Harry is succeeded by his son Archie Harrison, born in May 2019.

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