Britain's Queen Elizabeth "loves" her daughter-in-law Sophie Wessex's visits to her home.

The Countess - who is married to Prince Edward - often enjoys a visit to Windsor Castle to see the queen when she picks her children Lady Louise, eight, and three-year-old James, Viscount Seven, up from school, and the monarch enjoys the trips as she did not get to spend much time with older grandchildren Prince William and Harry when they were growing up.

A source said: "You always know when the Wessexes are visiting because you'll have to step over the tricycle in the hallway.

"The queen loves their visits. She wasn't around as much to see William and Harry growing up so it's like she's been given a second chance with the younger ones."

Despite their royal status, Sophie and Edward like to maintain a low profile, and they often live like a "normal family".

A source added: "Behind closed doors they are just a normal family. You've got James running around, and there are toys all over the place. But she's good to work for and very considerate."