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C-section birth for Sophie's baby girl; Queen `delighted' by arrival of latest royal.

Byline: PETER ARCHER

SOPHIE,Countess of Wessex, was yesterday recovering in hospital after an emergency Caesarean section to deliver her premature baby.

The Countess, who is 38, and the baby girl, who is the Queen's seventh grandchild and eighth in line to the throne, were both said to be ``stable''.

The Earl of Wessex, who was on an official visit to Mauritius, returned to Britain last night to be with his wife and child.

The baby, which was due at the beginning of December, weighed just 4lbs 9ozs when she was delivered at 11.32pm on Saturday at Frimley Park Hospital,Surrey.

The Countess, who two years ago suffered a potentially life-threatening ectopic pregnancy, was taken to the hospital from her nearby home at Bagshot Park after falling ill.

Her exact medical condition has not been disclosed but it is clear that the situation was serious. As a precaution, the baby was transferred to a specialist neo-natal unit at St George's Hospital, Tooting, south London, in the early hours of Sunday morning.

According to Buckingham Palace, the Countess would be staying at Frimley Park for the ``foreseeable future''.

The Queen was kept informed of developments and was said to be ``delighted'' with her new granddaughter, and pleased that mother and baby were doing well.

Sophie's parents, Christopher and Mary Rhys-Jones, travelled from Kent to see their daughter.

After the visit Mr RhysJones said Sophie was ``absolutely fine''.

He said: ``She's heavily sedated and rather sleepy but she is perfectly okay. The baby is also fine.''

The Rhys-Joneses then drove to Tooting to see their grandchild.
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 10, 2003
Words:265
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