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Before she became the Duchess of Edinburgh, Sophie Rhys-Jones had no time for royal romances. In her twenties, the bright blonde PR executive had landed a job at Capital Radio, going on to set up her own successful PR business by 31. 

It was her career that ultimately led her to fairytale beginnings, however, when a flustered Prince Edward fell head over heels for Sophie when they met by chance at the prince’s Real Tennis Challenge event.

Duchess Sophie’s cool-girl style file before she became Princess Edward’s bride© Richard Young/Shutterstock
Sophie Rhys-Jones worked in public relations when she met her future husband, Prince Edward

It was then that Sophie, a little-known-about London girl became the latest royal It-girl – and her timeless fashion from the nineties proves she was an unmistakably elegant style figure of her time. 

From tailored mini skirts to head-turning trouser suits, see the Duchess of Edinburgh’s boldest business-babe fashion looks before she became Prince Edward’s bride.

Duchess Sophie’s best fashion moments before royalty

The date night outfit

Duchess of Edinburgh holds a large boquet of lfowers in 1994© Shutterstock

In 1994, Sophie bloomed in a black turtleneck and tube skirt combo, rocking a 1990s classic pixie cut and a rosy red lip.

Sporty Sophie

Duchess Sophie leaves the Harbour Club in Chelsea wearing a red fleece and trainers© Shutterstock

The summer mini dress

Sophie Rhys Jones wears a red mini skirt with a khaki jacket in 1995© Brendan Beirne/Shutterstock

Sophie’s berry-red belted mini dress and cropped khaki jacket worn on a summer day in London is giving us major Gossip Girl nostalgia.

London Gatwick’s brightest passenger

Sophie Rhys Jones wears a bright orange shirt and blue pencil skirt to London Gatwick in 1995© Dennis Stone/Shutterstock

By 1995, Prince Edward and Sophie were openly dating, but her love for loud prints and bold outfits hadn’t yet fallen victim to the royal etiquette rules.

Here, she’s seen rocking a thigh-high mini skirt with kitten heels and a vivid orange blouse to arrive at London Gatwick with her royal beau.

Off-duty model aesthetic

Sophie Rhys Jones wears jeans, a white shirt and black loafers© Murphy/Shutterstock

Sophie’s loafers, jeans and baggy white blouse combination is serving up serious off-duty model vibes.

Sophie’s sage green suit

Sophie Rhys-jones Arriving At Her Office With Police Guard In London W1© Steve Back/Daily Mail/Shutterstock

The post-engagement glow was evident in 1999. Proving a power suit never goes out of style, Sophie’s sage trouser suit look can be seen on all of London’s It-girls today.

Giving her daytime look a luxe feel, the royal teamed her corporate get-up with leather heeled boots. 

LISTEN: Everything you need to know about the King’s cancer diagnosis in the latest episode of A Right Royal Podcast



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