Sophie Wessex says she is feeling 'fab' in her 50s, encourages others to feel the same

royals

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, feels "fabulous" in her 50s.

The 56-year-old royal - who has children Lady Louise, 17, and James Viscount Severn, 13, with husband Prince Edward - has urged workplaces to help support staff going through the menopause because it is estimated 900,000 women in the UK have quit their jobs while struggling with the symptoms of the hormonal change.

Joining a roundtable discussion to discuss Wellbeing of Women's 'Menopause Workplace Pledge' campaign, Sophie said: "Women having to leave the workplace because of the menopause is tragic.

"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."

A number of companies including Santander, HarperCollins UK and Bupa were involved in the discussion, explaining the measures they are taking to support staff, and Sophie - who became patron of Wellbeing of Women earlier this year - stressed the need for widespread change.

She added: "Together, we can support the thousands of women out there who form the backbone of our workforce. 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."

Sophie previously called for women to "celebrate" the menopause.

She said: "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. 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."

And the countess called for more open discussion around the menstrual cycle and related topics.

She said: "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?

"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.'"

Credit: Bang Showbiz