Sophie Wessex makes royal history during her latest royal engagement

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  • Sophie Wessex has made history after becoming the first member of the royal family to sit for a live sculpting of her face to support one of her patronages.

    What did Sophie Wessex say about the royal engagement?

    The countess said, “For the blind and partially sighted amongst us, these past months have been especially challenging.

    “However, through the care that the Vision Foundation has extended to those in difficulty, I am hopeful that the people we care for will feel empowered within their communities.”

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    The Countess of Wessex sat for a sculpture designed for blind and partially sighted people as part of a special event yesterday for @vision_fdn, a charity which Her Royal Highness has been Patron of since 2003. . The Countess joined sculptor Frances Segelman at her London studio for the unique socially distanced sculpting, which was live streamed to a virtual audience of charity supporters and guests. . Sculpture is one of the most accessible forms of art due to its tactile nature. For a visually impaired person, touching a sculpture can bring the piece to life in more ways than an audio description. . Once completed, the finished bust will be cast in bronze and will provide an opportunity for blind and partially sighted people to know The Countess of Wessex’s likeness – part of the Vision Foundation’s effort to help blind and partially sighted people access art in a meaningful way. The bust will be unveiled during the charity’s centenary year in 2021. . During the two-hour sculpting, Vision Foundation advocates for the charity and members of the sight loss community spoke to the virtual audience about the work of the charity, and how blind and partially sighted people have been affected by COVID-19, lockdown and social distancing measures. The Coronavirus pandemic has had a profound impact on the independence of blind and partially sighted people with daily tasks being made more challenging, and employment prospects being worsened. Social distancing without sight is difficult and issues of social exclusion, isolation and anxiety are exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. . The Vision Foundation aims to share the experiences of visually impaired people to help increase public understanding and ensure London is accessible for all. . The Countess is passionate about the issue of sight loss and preventing avoidable blindness both in the UK and around the world.

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    She added: “Thank you to Frances for sculpting my face today.

    “This sculpture, and the faces of many others, will allow the blind and partially sighted to see through touch and so to more vividly imagine their world.

    “Whether you are a long-time supporter or friend of the Vision Foundation, or you are new to us, thank you for your vital support.

    “and I would encourage you all to speak to the Foundation team to find out more about our work and explore how you can play a part in bringing the world to within closer reach for those who struggle to see it.”

    Once completed, the bust will provide an opportunity for blind and partially sighted people to know the Countess of Wessex’s features.

    This is part of the Vision Foundation’s effort to help blind and partially sighted people access art in a different way.

    Sophie Wessex has been the organisation’s patron since 2003, having taken over the role from the late Queen Mother.

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