Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, participated in special sculpture session, which was streamed live on the Internet. The project was undertaken to raise awareness for Vision Foundation, where she is a patron.
Prince Edward's wife sat down and posed for two hours with the sculptor, Frances Segelman (also called Lady Petchey), who created a bust of her likeness. The artist's process was filmed and shared to a select audience online while photos of the session were also given to the media.
The bust is not yet complete but Segelman will include this in an exhibit in 2021 for the Vision Foundation's 100 years. The organization supports partially-sighted and blind people, who have been especially challenged during this pandemic crisis.
Sophie said that her completed sculpture will help the visually impaired people to "see through touch" in the event planned for 2021. Also present during the sculpture session were Dr. Amit Patel and presenter Lucy Edwards who are also advocates for the charity.
Segelman has done sculptures of Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Prince William and Princess Anne. Her session with Sophie was a royal first since none of the other sculptural portraits with the royals have been executed live.
The artist said that it has been her privilege to work on Sophie's likeness. She confirmed it's her first live virtual event and the first tactile masterpiece she will make for the blind and visually impaired people.
Segelman also shared anecdotes about her very first sculpting session with Queen Elizabeth. The artist shared she almost cried in the presence of Her Majesty, who was so calm and poised the whole time she sat for her.
Meanwhile, Sophie had been back to her royal duties since spending the summer with the Queen and Prince Philip in Balmoral. She recently visited the emergency services unit, Thames Valley Air Ambulance, that came to her aid nearly two decades ago when she suffered an ectopic pregnancy. The Countess of Wessex became emotional as she recalled her ordeal and how the emergency unit saved her life. Since then, Sophie has been a patron of this charity unit.
Prince Edward's wife has been working non-stop despite the COVID-19 restrictions. She helped pack and distribute food for vulnerable families at various charities during the lockdown.
Sophie also supported Kate Middleton's Hold Still project by submitting a photo of the people she was working with at one charity. The Countess of Wessex also volunteered at a mental health facility and met with some local folks to know how their businesses are thriving amid the lockdown.