When did prince edward and sophie begin dating

Often described as "the Queen's favourite", Sophie has blossomed from a supporting player in the royal family into a stunning and popular principal.

The former public relations manager captured the world's attention when she married Prince Edward at Windsor Castle in 1999.

The countess met Prince Edward at a charity event in 1993, with the couple dating for six years until they announced their engagement in January 1999 and married six months later.Prince Edward and Sophie's marriage has not been without heartbreak.The glowing bride wore an elegant white hand-dyed silk organza dress, complementing her understated gown with a diamond tiara from the Queen's private collection.The wedding, which was watched by 200million people around the world, was attended by royalty from around the world, including Queen Anne-Marie of Greece and Prince Joachim of Denmark.Speaking shortly after the birth of Prince George, the countess revealed she was "ridiculously happy" for Kate and Prince William adding she had been smiling ever since the news broke.

Before taking on royal duties, Sophie worked in public relations, including four years at Capital Radio.

Sophie has a close relationship with her mother-in-law the Queen.

The two women share a passion for military history and a love of horses.

Since then, the couple have made visits across the world including South Africa, Jamaica and Canada, often being praised for their compassion and kindness when meeting members of the public.

Sophie, who works continuously for her charities, has also made solo visits to India and Qatar.

Four years later the couple welcomed their son, Viscount James.