Sophie, Countess of Wessex, won Queen Elizabeth II’s favor by doing something that Kate Middleton, Camilla Parker Bowles and Meghan Markle didn’t try to accomplish.

Many are convinced that Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite royal is Sophie, Countess of Wessex. According to experts, the Queen rarely let her guards down to the people around her, so it wasn’t easy for Sophie either to win the Queen’s favor.

Prince Edward’s wife wasn’t raised the way royals do. However, she did her part, so she could relate to them.

“In her early days of marriage Sophie set herself a series of tasks - she’s quite driven and focused like that - of learning how to ride properly, how to fish, how to shoot game and, more recently carriage driving,” a friend revealed. “She was not a natural rider - she’s had lots of lessons from the grooms at Windsor - but she’s certainly assured enough to accompany the Queen in gentle hacks around the Balmoral estate or Windsor Great Park.”

Although Sophie, Countess of Wessex, made efforts to be on the same wavelength with the members of the royal family, she was not the type who was entirely willing to accept the royal way of doing things. For instance, she argued with Prince Edward when the latter wanted their 8-year-old son James to join them on a Boxing Day pheasant because for her, their son was still too young.

Queen Elizabeth II is closest to Sophie compared to the Duchess of Cambridge, Duchess of Cornwall and Duchess of Sussex. In fact, Sophie is like a real daughter to her.

“She is trusted and relied on by the Queen in a way I couldn’t say applied to the Duchess of Cambridge or the Duchess of Cornwall,” a senior royal aide revealed. “She is like another daughter to Her Majesty, they are that close.”

Sophie is also among the royals who enjoy the honor of sharing a ride with Queen Elizabeth II whenever the monarch attends a church service in Sandringham. Last month, the Queen and Countess of Wessex were photographed at the backseat of the Queen’s vehicle as they made their way to Crathie Kirk to attend a Sunday service.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Edward
Pictured: Sophie, the Queen, Prince Edward during her reception to celebrate the patronages & affiliations of the Earl and Countess of Wessex at Buckingham Palace on February 10, 2015 in London, England. Getty Images/Chris Radburn-WPA Pool