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Countess speaks out on daughter's squint.

THE Countess of Wessex has told how she was moved by her daughter's vision problems to campaign on behalf of blind and visually impaired people around the world.

Sophie's daughter Louise was born prematurely in 2003, causing a condition called strabismus which left her with what the countess described as a "profound" squint.

She has since had the problem corrected because cosmetically it was awkward for her, Sophie said, and she can now see properly.

Explaining Lady Louise's condition, the countess - wife of Edward, Earl of Wessex, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh's youngest son - told the Sunday Express: "Premature babies can often have squints because the eyes are the last thing in the baby package to really be finalised.

"Her squint was quite profound when she was tiny and it takes time to correct it. You've got to make sure one eye doesn't become more dominant than the other but she's fine now - her eyesight is perfect." Her daughter's sight challenges have inspired Sophie, 50, to raise support for other people who have visual impairments.

She is patron of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness and a global ambassador for Vision 2020, an initiative aiming to eliminate avoidable blindness over the next five years, and over the last decade has visited projects helping the blind and those with sight problems in Tanzania, Bangladesh and India. She shared her personal experiences when she travelled to Qatar last week to mark World Sight Day, working with blindness prevention charity Orbis UK.

The Duchess of Cambridge is |expected to attend her first ever state banquet at Buckingham Palace in just over a week's time. It will be Kate's inaugural appearance at what is considered a staple royal duty - dining in the opulent palace ballroom with 170 guests, this time in honour of Chinese leader Xi Jinping.


The Countess of Wessex with her daughter Lady Louise Windsor at Windsor Castle in Berkshire

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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 12, 2015
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