New Royal Blunder

updated 04/21/2004 at 12:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/14/1998 12:00AM

Prince Edward's wife, the Countess of Wessex (the former Sophie Rhys Jones), 36, has quit her public relations job amid controversy after an undercover journalist printed her candid remarks in the sensational British weekly News of the World, reports the BBC. In a six-page transcript, the countess makes frank comments about public figures and talks about her dual role as a Royal and a businesswoman. She also apparently confided that Prince Charles will marry his longtime love, Camilla Parker Bowles -- but only after the death of "the old lady," a reference to the Queen Mum, who is 100. She also reportedly labeled Prime Minister Tony Blair as "too presidential," his wife Cherie "absolutely horrid, horrid, horrid," and said Conservative Party leader William Hague looks "deformed." In a personal statement, the countess said: "I am deeply distressed by the carrying out of an entrapment operation on me and my business, but I also much regret my own misjudgment in succumbing to that subterfuge." The countess's mother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth, has strongly defended Sophie (as the BBC calls her), attacking the "entrapment, subterfuge, innuendo and untruths" to which she and her husband had been subjected.

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