Ride and joy! Sophie Wessex smiles as she takes the reins during horse-drawn jaunt around Windsor 3 min read

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The Countess of Wessex looked in high spirits as she rode on a horse-drawn carriage along the banks of the River Thames in Windsor this afternoon. 

Sophie, 54, who is married to the Queen’s youngest son Prince Edward, wrapped up warm in a black puffer coat with a woollen scarf. 

The royal, who was all smiles despite the cold weather conditions, looked laid back as she took the reins of the horses during her outing. 

She accessorised her warm look with an on-trend chequered baker boy hat. 

The Countess of Wessex looked in high spirits as she rode on a horse-drawn carriage along the banks of the River Thames in Windsor this afternoon

The Countess of Wessex looked in high spirits as she rode on a horse-drawn carriage along the banks of the River Thames in Windsor this afternoon

Sophie, 54, who is married to the Queen's youngest son Prince Edward, wrapped up warm in a black puffer coat with a woollen scarf

Sophie, 54, who is married to the Queen’s youngest son Prince Edward, wrapped up warm in a black puffer coat with a woollen scarf

The Queen’s daughter-in-law – who has two children Lady Louise Windsor, 15, and James, Viscount Severn, 11, with husband Prince Edward, 55 – looked delighted to be going on an afternoon jaunt. 

Sophie, who was joined by two aides and a companion, wore her blonde hair loose but added a hat and pair of gloves to keep her head warm. 

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Sophie and her daughter Lady Louise, who are both avid carriage drivers, competed in the Champagne Laurent-Perrier Meet of the British Driving Society in Berkshire in May this year. 

Lady Louise was taught at a young age, and has inherited a love of carriage driving from her grandfather, Prince Philip. 

The Countess’s last official engagement was on November 27, when she officially opened the ‘House of Wessex’ in Oxfordshire.

The royal, who was all smiles despite the cold weather conditions, looked laid back as she took the reins of the horses during her outing

The royal, who was all smiles despite the cold weather conditions, looked laid back as she took the reins of the horses during her outing

The Queen's daughter-in-law - who has two children Lady Louise Windsor, 15, and James, Viscount Severn, 11, with husband Prince Edward, 55 - looked delighted to be going on an afternoon jaunt

The Queen’s daughter-in-law – who has two children Lady Louise Windsor, 15, and James, Viscount Severn, 11, with husband Prince Edward, 55 – looked delighted to be going on an afternoon jaunt

During her engagement, she visited the Sylva Foundation – an environmental charity that supports Britain’s trees and woodlands – helping to care for 90,000 hectares across the UK. 

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The Countess also officially opened the charity’s newly-restored Anglo Saxon building – the ‘House of Wessex’, which will be used as an educational facility.  

Inside the Wood Centre workshop The Countess spoke with furniture design makers Andrew and Daisy, who are supported by the charity.

The pair set up their own business ‘Lula James’ in September, making bespoke wooden furniture and small crafts.

Sophie, who was joined by two aides and a companion, wore her blonde hair loose but added a hat and pair of gloves to keep her head warm

Sophie, who was joined by two aides and a companion, wore her blonde hair loose but added a hat and pair of gloves to keep her head warm

Sophie and her daughter Lady Louise, who are both avid carriage drivers, competed in the Champagne Laurent-Perrier Meet of the British Driving Society in Berkshire in May this year

Sophie and her daughter Lady Louise, who are both avid carriage drivers, competed in the Champagne Laurent-Perrier Meet of the British Driving Society in Berkshire in May this year

Sophie Wessex, 54, dressed for the chilly weather conditions in a long grey coat and black boots as she arrived to open the 'House of Wessex' in Oxfordshire

Sophie Wessex, 54, dressed for the chilly weather conditions in a long grey coat and black boots as she arrived to open the ‘House of Wessex’ in Oxfordshire

The Countess of Wessex’s appearance comes after she used a sweet nickname for the Queen while delivering a speech at a Buckingham Palace reception last month.

Sophie affectionately referred to her mother-in-law as ‘Mama’ during a tribute at the event.

The Queen and the Countess of Wessex were on hand to celebrate the success of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Trust, of which they are Patron and Vice-Patron.

Inside the Wood Centre workshop The Countess spoke with furniture design makers Andrew and Daisy, who are supported by the charity

Inside the Wood Centre workshop The Countess spoke with furniture design makers Andrew and Daisy, who are supported by the charity 

Speaking the the room full of guests, Sophie first referred to the Queen as Her Majesty but later dropped in her touching nickname.

Sophie continued: ‘Mama, when I have returned from my travels I have been so proud to share with you the work I have witnessed being carried out under the umbrella of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust and the care of so many people working so hard to save and cure sight.’