King Charles III sent shock waves through the royal ecosystem when he turned to brother Prince Edward and his wife Duchess Sophie to ask for help for the first time in a historic moment this week.

The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh led their first major royal duties on Monday, April 8 on the king’s behalf Buckingham Palace.

The couple stepped in for the king, 75, as he undergoes cancer treatment and has pulled the brakes on public-facing duties at a historic military event at the palace.

The important ceremony, which would’ve been hosted by the king accompanied by Queen Camilla, marked the 120th anniversary of the Entente Cordiale, an agreement between countries united against German ambitions in the decade before World War One.

Related: King Charles III Through the Years: The Monarch’s Life in Photos

Prior to the death of Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III had been the heir apparent to the British throne for seven decades. Charles held the position longer than anyone in the monarchy’s history. While waiting for his ascension, he served his country as the Prince of Wales. After serving in the military and founding […]

The trusting of the pair to host such a significant event for the first time ever and represent the king amongst dignitaries, the likes of Her Excellency, the French Ambassador to the U.K., Hélène Duchêne, marks a major shift in the royals’ roles.

Edward and sophie and king charles cause shock as they step up

Prince Edward and Sophie and King Charles
VICTORIA JONES/POOL/AFP via Getty Images/ Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

As some royal watchers gathered outside the palace to get a glimpse of who might step up in the monarch’s place from a distance, an onlooker tells Us Weekly that many whispered that it may be Camilla rocking up solo as she has in recent times for other royal duties, while others speculated that it may be Princess Beatrice or her sibling Princess Eugenie, onlookers told Us Weekly.

What they had seemingly not expected was that it would be in fact Edward and Sophie as the “chosen ones”. The shock was soon replaced with shouts of delight and praise as the royal couple’s car arrived at Buckingham Palace.

Edward and sophie and king charles cause shock as they step up

Prince Edward and Sophie oversee Buckingham Palace ceremony
VICTORIA JONES/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The delighted couple, clearly up for the challenge, pulled out all the stops for their most epic appearance to date.
A beaming Sophie made a touching gesture to her husband during their appearance to show their solidarity.

According to Tatler magazine, the duchess, who wore a pale blue dress and beige coat, also donned a pair of sparkling aquamarine floral earrings that she was first seen wearing at an event to mark their 10th wedding anniversary.

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She wore the floral jewels on a visit to Whitton School back in June 2009, a decade after their wedding in Windsor. Royal experts have speculated that the floral gems “could have been a gift from the Prince to the mother-of-two,” according to the publication.

The couple were last seen out together for the Easter Sunday service in Windsor earlier this month. They joined other senior royals for the occasion, including the King and Queen, Princess Anne and Prince Andrew.

Prince Edward and Sophie caused a stir then also as fans reportedly were in awe over their bond and their matching purple outfits for the service. Princess Kate Middleton and Prince William were not in attendance as Kate has also taken a step back from public appearances as she undergoes cancer treatment.

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