The Duchess Of Edinburgh Steps In For King Charles As She Flies To Italy For Funeral

The Duchess Of Edinburgh Steps In For King Charles As She Flies To Italy For Funeral

The Duchess of Edinburgh cut a sombre figure as she attended the state funeral of former Italian President Giorgio Napolitano in Rome on Tuesday.

Sophie, 58, was dressed respectfully in a black cowl-neck midi dress as she represented King Charles and the British royal family at the service.

She also sported a diamond rose-shaped brooch and matching black accessories as she arrived at the Palazzo Montecitorio. The Duchess was not joined by the Duke of Edinburgh at the state funeral. Prince Edward, 59, is currently on a working visit to Turkey.

Meanwhile, King Charles, 74, and Queen Camilla, 76, carried out a three-day state visit to France last week.

Sophie has had a packed diary since returning to public duties after her summer break.

Last week, the royal mum-of-two attended a performance of “Musicals from the Heart” at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton. The Duchess, who looked elegant in a navy evening dress from Roksanda, is patron of the cardiac charity Heartbeat.

She joined former patients, members of the cardiac team at the Wessex Cardiac Centre and loyal supporters to celebrate the charity’s 30th anniversary.

Sophie also attended a special breakfast event in Devon, which honoured heroes and volunteers from some of the county’s 4,000 charities.

The former PR boss, who married Prince Edward in 1999, is mother to Lady Louise Windsor and James, Earl of Wessex.

The late Queen with President Giorgio Napolitano in 2014

Lady Louise, 19, is in her second year of her university degree at St Andrews in Scotland, where she is studying English Literature.

Her brother James, 15, is in his final year of secondary school and will sit his GCSE exams next spring.

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, formerly known as the Earl and Countess of Wessex, reside at Bagshot Park in Surrey.

Who was Giorgio Napolitano?

Mr Napolitano seated next to President Barack Obama in 2014

Mr Napolitano served as the president of Italy from 2006 to 2015 and was the first to be re-elected to the office.

He was hospitalized shortly after his 98th birthday on 29 June. But earlier this month, the late President was reported to be in a critical condition and was taken off life support.

Mr Napolitano died three days later on 22 September. He is survived by his wife Clio Maria Bittoni and two sons, Giovanni and Giulio.

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