Smiling Sophie dons camouflage gear and a hard hat to oversee the third "Countess of Wessex Cup" military skills competition


Smiling Sophie dons camouflage gear and a hard hat to oversee the third 'Countess of Wessex Cup' military skills competition

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UPDATED:

15:06 GMT, 19 October 2012

It cannot be easy having a style icon in the family, but instead of trying to compete with the Duchess of Cambridge in the fashion stakes the Countess of Wessex chose to dress to impress the local soldiers on a recent engagement.

Wearing camouflage-patterned body armour and a hard hat Sophie watched members of the three Armed Services participate in her military skills competition in Paderborn, Germany before tucking in to an energy packed meal of pasta, noodles and pan-fried fish.

The Countess of Wessex Cup is in it third year and was hosted by the 5th Battalion, The Rifles at a small training area on the outskirts of Paderborn where the unit is based.

The Countess of Wessex visited Paderborn, Germany to watch members of the three Armed Services participate in her military skills competition, which is in its third year

The Countess of Wessex visited Paderborn, Germany to watch members of the three Armed Services participate in her military skills competition, which is in its third year

The Countess is the Royal
Representative for a unit from each the three Armed Services whose eight
man teams took part in the physically and mentally demanding tests.

A
team from RAF Wittering represented the Royal Air Force and a team from
HMS Daring, who have recently returned from operations in the Middle
East, represented the Royal Navy

The
first stand tested the team s fitness where they were required to make
best effort over a four mile course with various weights including a
simulated casualty.

Sophie was shown the meal that she will shortly sample as part of the military skills test

Sophie was shown the meal that she will shortly sample as part of the military skills test

Chefs amongst the groups were given the same ingredients and had 40 minutes to produce a meal for the Countess

Chefs amongst the groups were given the same ingredients and had 40 minutes to produce a meal for the Countess

The
second stand was focused on command and control where the youngest
members of each team were given the task of building a tent while the
rest of their team were blindfolded.

The
final test was for the chefs amongst the groups: each team were given
the same ingredients and had 40 minutes to produce a meal for the
Countess.

The
overall competition was won by the host, 5 Rifles and RAF Wittering,
who are hosting the competition next year came in second.

HMS
daring can be forgiven for their last place position as they were still
getting used to the significantly different temperatures in Germany
compared to the Gulf.

The Countess is the Royal Representative for a unit from each the three Armed Services whose eight man teams took part in the physically and mentally demanding tests

The Countess is the Royal Representative for a unit from each the three Armed Services whose eight man teams took part in the physically and mentally demanding tests

A member of the RAF team during the stretcher race

RAF Airmen wearing blacked out goggles whilst building a tent

A member of the RAF team feels the strain during the stretcher race (left) and RAF Airmen wear blacked out goggles whilst building a tent (right)

Soldiers representing the Army team roll out a canvas tent while wearing blacked out glasses as part of the skills competition

Soldiers representing the Army team roll out a canvas tent while wearing blacked out glasses as part of the skills competition

The overall competition was won by the host, 5 Rifles and RAF Wittering came in second

The overall competition was won by the host, 5 Rifles and RAF Wittering came in second