Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Is the Latest Royal to Head Out on Tour

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, is the latest royal to embark on a last-minute tour. And while we’re obviously excited about her upcoming outfits, her social mission for the trip is definitely applause-worthy.

Today, Buckingham Palace announced that the 55-year-old countess will travel to Sierra Leone at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from Wednesday, January 22, to Thursday January, 23. (Yep, like, this week.)

It’s not clear why the trip appears to be so last minute, but the palace did explain how Countess Sophie will spend her time abroad.

According to the royal family’s website, Prince Edward’s wife of 21 years will attend a host of events in Freetown, Sierra Leone, that center on “addressing sexual and gender-based violence, supporting survivors, and championing women’s role in peacebuilding.” Twenty years after the country was locked in a devastating civil war, Her Royal Highness will learn how the nation has moved forward. She’ll also get a glimpse into how the Special Court and Truth of Reconciliation Commission have helped survivors of the war cope in the time that’s passed.

In terms of a specific agenda, Sophie will join a roundtable discussion on “societal issues and the continued violence faced by women and girls in Sierra Leone.” She’ll learn more about what measures are being taken to help women feel more comfortable reporting rape and how family planning services and education are becoming more accessible. One of the ways she’ll see this work in action is during a visit to a secondary school supported by the U.K. government that aims to keep girls safe and focused on their education.

Additionally, Her Royal Highness will meet with women involved in the government, armed forces, civil society and communities and will show support for their mission to bolster peace, equality and safety in Sierra Leone.

We’re loving this empowering agenda. 

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Cat mom, yogi, brunch enthusiast

Lex is an LA native who's deeply obsessed with picnics, Slim Aarons, rosé, Hollywood history and Joan Didion. She joined PureWow in early 2017.