“With Harry and Meghan off the scene and Andrew taking a back seat because of the Epstein scandal, [the royal family is] becoming seriously under-staffed. Prince Philip is retired at 98, the queen is nearly 94 and Charles and Camilla are in their 70s,” said Dampier, noting that Princess Anne turns 70 this year and the queen’s cousins are in their 80s.
“Prince Edward has kept a very low profile in recent years but his wife, Sophie, has become a star in her own right,” he continued. “She is very close to Her Majesty and is a favorite of hers. Recently she has been on several overseas trips and done fantastically well. Now that her children are a bit older I think there could be a great role for her to play.”
Dampier called Sophie “fit and full of energy.”
Sophie and Edward are taking a step into the spotlight this week, co-hosting a reception for a U.K.-Africa business summit with nephew Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton, on behalf of the queen. Edward and Sophie aren’t often seen at such high-profile events.
“I think [Sophie] wants to do more and would happily step up to the plate and take over more duties if asked,” Dampier continued. “Charles has to realize that you can slim down too much and they are running out of royals to do the nitty-gritty work.”
He added: “Sophie would be perfect to take up some of the slack and I think she has the potential to be a royal superstar given the chance. If it was Sophie’s choice I think she would grab it with both hands.”
Royal expert Neil Sean recently weighed in on the matter as well, explaining that he understands that Middleton, 38, “is the queen’s number one priority as she knows it will be her who the real monarchy will fall onto in the future.”
Speculation over who will fill in for Harry, 35, and Markle, 38, began after they announced their plans to “step back” from their royal duties, furthered by the recent announcement that the pair will no longer utilize their HRH titles.
“The Sussexes will not use their HRH titles as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family,” continued the statement. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have shared their wish to repay Sovereign Grant expenditure for the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, which will remain their UK family home.”
As part of the “Megxit” deal, which is reportedly set to be revisited in a year and take effect this spring, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will pay back the $3.1 million spent on renovations of their home, Frogmore Cottage.