Sophie Countess of Wessex joins sight loss charity for a tandem cycle

Sophie’s in the saddle! Countess of Wessex joins sight loss charity for a tandem cycle in London

  • Royal, who is Patron of Vision Foundation, enjoyed cycle in Bushy Park, London 
  • Joined group on Tuesday to highlight rising unemployment among blind people
  • Looked sporty in a pair of black leggings and wore a helmet to keep safe on bike

Sophie Countess of Wessex hopped on her bike today to support a cause close to her heart, as she part in a tandem cycle in London in aid of a sight loss charity. 

The royal, who is Patron of the Vision Foundation, enjoyed a cycle on a double bike in Bushy Park, London, on Tuesday. 

She joined the group of visually impaired and sighted cyclists to highlight the importance of independent living for blind and partially sighted people.

The cause is also close to the royal’s heart, because her daughter Lady Louise suffered from esotropia, and had corrective surgery as a toddler.

Sophie Countess of Wessex joined a sight loss charity and took part in a tandem cycle in London

The royal, who is Patron of the Vision Foundation, enjoyed a cycle on a double bike in Bushy Park, London, on Tuesday

Despite the bad weather, Sophie was captured beaming for the camera as she joined in the cycle.

She sported a pair of black knee-length leggings and kept warm with a navy long-sleeved jumper. 

Opting for comfort, she donned a pair of white trainers and kept safe on the bike by wearing a helmet. 

The mother-of-two took part in the event, which aims to show the vital part employment plays in helping blind people become more self-reliant.  

She sported a pair of black knee-length leggings and kept warm with a navy long-sleeved jumper and appeared in good spirits despite the weather

The bike ride coincides with the launch of the Vision Foundation’s employment report ‘See My Skills’, which sets out the sight loss charity’s plan to tackle rising unemployment among blind and partially sighted people. 

The report is part of its Centenary campaign to work with the public, private and charitable sectors to change the employment landscape for people living with sight loss. 

The Countess was the ‘pilot’ and lead the tandem, with Monica Smith, Centenary Appeal manager at the Vision Foundation as her ‘stoker’.

She joined the group of visually impaired and sighted cyclists to highlight the importance of independent living for blind and partially sighted people

The cause is also close to the royal’s heart, because her daughter Lady Louise suffered from esotropia – a condition which means both eyes do not look in the same direction.

If left untreated it can cause serious vision problems, and had corrective surgery on the advice of doctors.

In most cases a paediatric ophthalmologist would carefully move the position of the muscles on the eye in order to make it easier to control. 

Sophie is no stranger to a bike ride for a good cause, after she made the 445-mile trip from Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh to Buckingham Palace in 2016. 

Despite the bad weather, Sophie was captured beaming for the camera as she joined in the cycle, and sported a helmet to keep safe 

The Countess, whose only prior experience of cycling was with her children and ‘never for more than the odd hour’, raised more than £180,000 for the Duke of Edinburgh Award. 

She partook in the challenge in recognition of the 60th anniversary of Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.

While on her trip, she spent some eight hours a day cycling, with up to five hours on the saddle.

This comes after Sophie was pictured attending the Royal Windsor Horse Show over the weekend with her daughter Lady Louise and husband Prince Edward.

Her daughter is an accomplished equestrian and has become a regular fixture at the show. 

The Countess was the ‘pilot’ and lead the tandem, with Monica Smith, Centenary Appeal manager at the Vision Foundation as her ‘stoker’ while others joined 

Over the weekend she took the reins of the Duke of Edinburgh’s carriage to participate in the Champagne Laurent-Perrier Meet of the British Driving Society.  

The teenager appeared in great spirits and was seen grinning while riding in a carriage while she held a whip in one hand. 

The Countess of Wessex recently spoke of the special bond Lady Louise shared with her grandfather Prince Philip, who died in April aged 99.

Lady Louise is an accomplished carriage driver, having followed the Duke of Edinburgh into the sport and her mother says she gained a ‘great passion’ and a ‘natural curiosity’ from her grandfather.

 

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