Prince Edward's wife Sophie hospitalized after ectopic pregnancy, reports say

Thursday, December 6th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LONDON (AP) _ Prince Edward's wife Sophie was airlifted to a hospital Thursday for emergency surgery for an ectopic pregnancy, Britain's Press Association news agency said.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the nature of the surgery, but said the 36-year-old Countess of Wessex was recovering in a London hospital.

There had been no announcement that she was pregnant. In an ectopic pregnancy, the fetus develops in a Fallopian tube.

Press Association said the countess was ``comfortable'' following surgery at King Edward VII hospital in London.

The Berkshire Ambulance Service said it was called to Edward and Sophie's home, Bagshot Park, on Thursday for a female patient who had a ``sudden illness'' at home. A Thames Valley and Chiltern air ambulance was dispatched and the patient was transferred to a hospital, the ambulance service said.

``Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex is currently recovering in the Kind Edward VII Hospital following an emergency operation today,'' Buckingham Palace said.

``The countess was taken to hospital by air ambulance this morning after feeling unwell overnight. She is expected to stay in hospital for the next few days.''

Edward was at his wife's side, the palace added.

The former Sophie Rhys-Jones, daughter of a tire salesman, was a successful businesswoman when she married Edward on June 19, 1999. The couple has no children.

Edward, 37, is the fourth child of Queen Elizabeth II, and the last of the queen's children to marry.

The countess has continued to work at her public relations firm, R-JH, despite criticism that the work could make inappropriate use of her royal connections.

She and Prince Edward met at the Queen's Tennis Club in London in 1993, while she was doing public relations at a charity event, and they began dating soon afterward.