Sophie, Countess of Wessex has spoken out about menopause.
The British royal, who is married to Queen Elizabeth II’s youngest son Prince Edward, joined a roundtable discussion to support the “Menopause Workplace Pledge” campaign with Wellbeing of Women, People magazine reported on Monday.
According to the outlet, the 56-year-old became a royal patron of the charity earlier this year. The campaign calls on employers to support women and staff going through menopause in the workplace.
“Women having to leave the workplace because of the menopause is tragic,” said the mother of two, as quoted by the outlet. “We are fabulous in our 40s, and we are even more fabulous in our 50s, 60s and 70s and we need to celebrate that and keep opportunities going for women.”
“Together, we can support the thousands of women out there who form the backbone of our workforce,” she continued. “We cannot let anyone leave the workplace feeling that they have got to slope off into the shadows. We have to be able to change that.”
Previously, Sophie spoke from personal experience.
“Really we should be celebrating the fact that we don’t have to have periods anymore – it should be a liberation, but it feels like a shackle,” the countess explained. “It’s described as something incredibly negative. One, yes, it’s an admittance of the fact that yes, we’re getting a bit older, we’re not as young as we were before… and it’s quite a moment to admit it.”
The outlet noted that it’s a first for a royal to speak so candidly about a subject that is still considered to be taboo.
“The menstrual cycle, periods, the menopause, having babies… you know, we all talk about having babies, but nobody talks about periods, nobody talks about the menopause, why not?” said Sophie. “It’s something that happens to us 12 times a year. It’s something that’s incredibly normal, but it’s something that is hidden. And I think it’s time to say ‘Enough, we need to bring this out onto the table and say, let’s talk about this.'”
After Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle stepped back as senior royals, expert Phil Dampier told U.K.’s DailyMail that Sophie was the ideal member of the family to step into their shoes. He noted that her brother-in-law Prince Andrew had also stepped back amid his Epstein scandal and the queen’s cousins are in their 80s.
Elizabeth’s eldest son, Prince Charles, is first in line to the throne.
“Prince Edward has kept a very low profile in recent years but his wife, Sophie, has become a star in her own right,” said Dampier. “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.”
“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.”
Fox News’ Nate Day contributed to this report.