Lady Louise and Prince Edward enjoy a canter around Windsor’s grounds


Lady Louise has been spotted enjoying an early morning horse ride with her father, Prince Edward, for the first time since lockdown began in March. 

The 16-year-old joined her dad, 56, on a canter around the grounds of Windsor today and the father-and-daughter looked to be enjoying the fresh air and exercise.  

Sophie Wessex, and Lady Louise’s younger brother, James, Viscount Severn, 12, were absent from the horse-riding trip. 

Last night, the Countess of Wessex made an impassioned speech via video link at a United Nations (UN) event to highlight the rise of sexual violence since lockdown began.

Riding a white-dappled steed, Lady Louise, 16, looked delighted to be back in the saddle again, pictured for the first time since lockdown riding in the grounds of Windsor with her father Prince Edward

Riding a white-dappled steed, Lady Louise, 16, looked delighted to be back in the saddle again, pictured for the first time since lockdown riding in the grounds of Windsor with her father Prince Edward

The teenager, dressed in a bright pink polo shirt and navy jodhpurs, wore a protective back brace while riding her horse - erring on the side of caution after her skiing accident in February 2018

The teenager, dressed in a bright pink polo shirt and navy jodhpurs, wore a protective back brace while riding her horse – erring on the side of caution after her skiing accident in February 2018

 Lady Louise, riding a white dappled steed, was dressed in a bright pink polo shirt and navy jodhpurs.

Erring on the side of caution, the young royal also wore a protective back brace. 

In February 2018, Lady Louise was reported to have fractured a leg during a family break in the upmarket ski resort of St Moritz in Switzerland.

The royal, who was 14 years old at the time fell and injured herself and ended up on crutches. 

On today’s trip, her father eschewed protective gear beyond a riding hat as he took the reins on a light brown horse.   

The family have been holed up in their Windsor home since lockdown began but the Countess of Wessex, 55, has re-focused her attentions on her charity work in recent days. 

Prince Edward meanwhile opted to wear just a riding helmet as he trotted around Windsor's sprawling green fields on his light brown horse

Prince Edward meanwhile opted to wear just a riding helmet as he trotted around Windsor’s sprawling green fields on his light brown horse

Father and daughter later got some speed up as they followed the royal bridle paths

Father and daughter later got some speed up as they followed the royal bridle paths 

Speaking in an address to a UN forum on the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict on Friday, Sophie called on the world to listen to the needs of survivors.

In her address, the 55-year-old royal said: ‘Since the pandemic began, the number of cases of sexual violence across conflict settings and in domestic settings are very likely to have risen substantially.

Addressing the UN via video link, the 55-year-old royal said sexual violence in domestic settings and conflict zones were likely to have 'risen substantially' since lockdown began

Addressing the UN via video link, the 55-year-old royal said sexual violence in domestic settings and conflict zones were likely to have ‘risen substantially’ since lockdown began

The Countess, pictured at the Childline and NSPCC headquarters in London earlier this week, told the UN 'I hope I may speak for all Survivors of Conflict Related Sexual Violence when I say: we must listen to the needs and wishes of all Survivors and we must act accordingly.'

The Countess, pictured at the Childline and NSPCC headquarters in London earlier this week, told the UN ‘I hope I may speak for all Survivors of Conflict Related Sexual Violence when I say: we must listen to the needs and wishes of all Survivors and we must act accordingly.’

‘Women and girls once again are being affected disproportionately, with increased difficulties in accessing sexual and reproductive healthcare, higher numbers of maternal deaths and teenage pregnancies, closures of domestic violence shelters, closure of schools, reduction in aid work and funds for charities, delays in relief packages.’

Sophie told the virtual UN event for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict: ‘Covid-19 has amplified suffering with the restrictions imposed on survivors.’

On International Women’s Day last year, the countess announced her commitment to champion the Women, Peace and Security agenda and the UK’s Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI).

Sophie went on to speak at the Commission on the Status of Women at the UN in New York, and attended a Foreign Office conference on PSVI with survivors, government and NGO representatives.

SOPHIE WESSEX’S ADDRESS TO THE UNITED NATIONS IN FULL

‘Despite the world having shrunk through the power of digital platforms like this one, we know that there are an extraordinary number of people who are more and more disconnected and vulnerable and that COVID-19 has compounded the issue.

Since the pandemic began the number of cases of sexual violence across conflict settings and in domestic settings are very likely to have risen substantially. 

Women and girls once again are being affected disproportionately, with increased difficulties in accessing sexual and reproductive healthcare, higher numbers of maternal deaths and teenage pregnancies, closures of domestic violence shelters, closure of schools, reduction in aid work and funds for charities, delays in relief packages. COVID19 has amplified suffering with the restrictions imposed on Survivors.

Time is against the victims and therefore it is imperative that National Action Plans are implemented or where possible even accelerated. But importantly in the course of our action we must ensure all responses are best geared to them.

The royal told the delegates attending the virtual event that women and girls 'once again are being affected disproportionately' by sexual violence

The royal told the delegates attending the virtual event that women and girls ‘once again are being affected disproportionately’ by sexual violence

My message therefore today is simple, and I hope I may speak for all Survivors of Conflict Related Sexual Violence when I say: we must listen to the needs and wishes of all Survivors and we must act accordingly.

Humanitarian Programmes and funding structures must be able to nimbly adapt in line with the thoughts and needs of all survivors amid this pandemic.

I believe Civil Society is central to enabling real and meaningful global action. Local communities are able to share local knowledge and understanding. Let local realities guide global responses.

So while we mark today as the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict and acknowledge the consequences of COVID-19, let us all respond by listening to the needs of Survivors and with the urgency that they deserve.

Thank you for this opportunity to speak to you all today.’

In her virtual address to the UN, the countess went on to say: ‘Time is against the victims and therefore it is imperative that national action plans are implemented or where possible even accelerated. 

But importantly in the course of our action, we must ensure all responses are best geared to them.

‘My message therefore today is simple, and I hope I may speak for all survivors of conflict-related sexual violence when I say: we must listen to the needs and wishes of all survivors and we must act accordingly.’

The Countess of Wessex, 55, was pictured listening to staff as she met with the team at the Childline and NSPCC headquarters in London earlier this week

The Countess of Wessex, 55, was pictured listening to staff as she met with the team at the Childline and NSPCC headquarters in London earlier this week

Earlier this week Sophie joined a counselling shift at a call centre offering support for vulnerable children as she continued her volunteering amid the pandemic.

She was pictured chatting to staff as she met with the team at the Childline and NSPCC headquarters in London, which is a confidential service for under-19s to seek help and support. 

Sophie, who has been principal patron of the NSPCC since taking over from the Queen in 2016, appeared eager to get stuck in, and was seen typing at a desk in the office before thanking volunteers for their work during the lockdown. 

Sophie got stuck into the counselling shift at Childline to experience first-hand the services the charity offers

Sophie got stuck into the counselling shift at Childline to experience first-hand the services the charity offers 

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