Countess of Wessex in India

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The 48-year-old Countess of Wessex, Sophie, visited an optometry hospital on September 20th, 2013, during her tour of India that lasted a week. She visited the eye hospital on day three of her trip that she has embarked on without the company of her husband, Prince Edward. Sophie had to give up her sense of style a bit as she was asked to wear covers over her shoes in the interest of hygiene upon entering the operating stage of the Susret Eye Foundation in Kolkata, West Bengal. The mother of two children, the Countess was given an in-depth opportunity to learn about the sight-saving activities the advanced eye care unit carries out on their patients. She even was allowed to use a simulator to imitate performing cataract surgery.

Aside from the blue shoe covers, Countess Sophie was attired in an elegant yet simple palm tree patterned dress and a silver jacket. She accessorized by draping a purple pashmina around her neck and carrying a small silver clutch purse that matched the color of her jacket. Her blonde hair was pulled back into an effortless ponytail.

She visited the eye hospital alongside the charity ORBIS, whose mission is to save sight in developing countries. In 2002, ORBIS launched the India childhood blindness initiative to help make certain that the country’s children are able to access quality eye care. During her visit, Countess Sophie met patients who had directly benefited from the medical expertise and technology at the facility.

The day before she was able to see first-hand how the eye medics use a plane that has been converted into a flying ophthalmic hospital and training facility to reach patients who are located in the most poverty-stricken areas of the country. Sophie boarded the DC-10 aircraft and met patients, staff, and volunteers. ORBIS uses the DC-10 aircraft to visit rural communities and provide improved eye care for the people living there.

Countess Sophie attended a reception at the Kolkata Hotel later that same day as the plane visit. She wore a silk wrap dress in a black and silver print. On the first day of her visit, she had met orphaned children from Kolkata who are being supported by the charity Future Hope.

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