Countess of Wessex embraces emotional well-wisher as she meets crowds in Manchester

Sophie, Countess of Wessex met Josh in Manchester. (Shutterstock)
Sophie, Countess of Wessex met Josh in Manchester. (Shutterstock) (Tim Rooke/Shutterstock)

The Countess of Wessex was filmed comforting a young man in Manchester as the public paid tribute to the Queen.

The Earl and Countess were visiting St Anne's Square to meet well-wishers who were paying their respects to the late monarch.

The pair met many members of the crowd and took time to greet as many as they could.

At one moment Sophie was seen comforting a young man called Josh who was standing with his mother.

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The Countess embraced Josh when she met him. (Shutterstock)
The Countess embraced Josh when she met him. (Shutterstock) (Tim Rooke/Shutterstock)

After the exchange the boy's mum, Sue, told Sky News: "The first time she came down, Josh passed the bouquet over and then she came back over before she went in the car and gave Josh another hug. And she laid the flowers over there."

She added: "It was quite emotional to be honest. I'm trying to hold it in. I just thought it was the best thing. I wasn't expecting Sophie to come over."

Sue told Sky News her son was non-verbal and she thought her son would've found meeting Sophie "quite emotional."

Sophie and Edward viewed floral tributes to the Queen left in Manchester and also saw a book of condolence at the Central Library.

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The Countess of Wessex meets members of the public as she views floral tributes in St Ann's Square, Manchester, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Picture date: Thursday September 15, 2022.
The Countess and Earl were visiting Manchester to see tributes to the Queen. (Shutterstock) (PA)

The earl and countess were invited by the Dean of Manchester, the Very Rev Rogers Govender, and the Bishop of Manchester, David Walker, to each light a candle.

They were also shown photographs of the Queen’s last visit to the cathedral, to mark the 600th anniversary celebration of the collegiate church in July 2021.

Edward lay a floral tribute as he inspected the bouquets surrounding the statue of free trade campaigner Richard Cobden.

The Queen’s youngest son shook hands with people lining the square as they offered their condolences, while Sophie embraced one young well-wisher.

The Countess of Wessex met dozens of people in Manchester. (PA)
The Countess of Wessex met dozens of people in Manchester. (PA) (PA)

Council employee Juliet Felstead, 27, who is leading a team of volunteers overlooking the site, spoke to Edward.

She said: “He was just really grateful for all of the volunteers who have been out over the week to oversee the tributes.

“They were both touched by all the messages and the kindness that has been shown.

“We have seen a steady stream of people, with many sharing their memories of the Queen, including some ex-service personnel. It’s meant a lot to people.”

The cards and messages will be saved and later archived at Manchester Art Gallery, as the Arena bombing tributes were.