In a pleasantly surprising first for the British monarchy, Wessex Countess Sophie broke through the taboo surrounding women’s health to talk about menstruation and pregnancy on camera. The 56-year-old attended a call with experts and professionals last week, conversing about issues related to girls, women and their health, as she takes on the patronage of Wellbeing of Women, a charity organisation committed to social causes.
“The menstrual cycle, periods, the menopause, having babies… you know, we all talk about having babies, but nobody talks about periods, nobody talks about the menopause, why not?” Sophie asked.
A royal champion of women’s rights and gender equality, Sophie is married to Queen Elizabeth II’s youngest son, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. The couple has two children together.
“It’s something that happens to us 12 times a year. It’s something that’s incredibly normal, but it’s something that is hidden. And I think it’s time to say ‘Enough, we need to bring this out onto the table and say, let’s talk about this’,” she added.
Wessex Countess Sophie First Royal To Shed Stigma Around Periods In Public: Here’s All She Said
The Royal Family echoed her words on their official channels, writing, “Her Royal Highness also shared her own experiences of the menopause and discussed ways to encourage women from ethnically diverse and socially deprived communities to access antenatal care earlier.”
The statement stated that “three key areas of women’s health – menstruation, menopause, and pregnancy” were discussed by Sophie and the others. The Countess even went on to detail her own experiences with menopause, outlining the difficulties and taboos. “Really we should be celebrating the fact that we don’t have to have periods anymore – it should be a liberation, but it feels like a shackle…”
In addition to health, Sophie pressed on the need to transform the “superficial” image and representation of women that puts them under undue expectations. “We’ve got to be fit, we’ve got to be clever, we’ve got to be looking skinny, we’ve got to looking beautiful. We’ve got to look 25 years old for the rest of our lives.”
Watch Wessex Countess Sophie talk about women’s health: