The Queen has stressed how important it is to stay in touch with family and friends during testing times and praised the “selfless dedication to duty” seen across the Commonwealth – just hours before Harry and Meghan’s controversial Oprah interview airs.
Senior royals including the Prince of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge appeared together on the BBC One show to mark Commonwealth Day.
The programme was used to focus on the global impact of the coronavirus pandemic and how technology “transcends boundaries or division”.
“The testing times experienced by so many have led to a deeper appreciation of the mutual support and spiritual sustenance we enjoy by being connected to others,” the Queen said on the programme.
But while the Queen praised transcending boundaries, the current situation with Harry and Meghan stood in contrast.
Only a few hours later, Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah will air and promises to delve into the tough royal split.
Clips from the Winfrey interview have shown Meghan referring to the royal family as “the firm” and accusing them of “perpetuating falsehoods” about herself and Harry.
She also refers to the constraints of working under the royal family and how she feels “liberated” after stepping down.
Reports have suggested the Queen will not be watching the interview “circus”, instead choosing to focus on her “duty and Philip”. The Duke of Edinburgh, 99, is in hospital having undergone an operation for a pre-existing heart condition.
The repeated references to duty may echo how the Queen feels about her grandson’s stepping away from the royal family. Harry and Meghan were accused of being disrespectful to the monarch’s own life of duty when their permanent departure was finalised two weeks ago.
“Whilst experiences of the last year have been different across the Commonwealth, stirring examples of courage, commitment, and selfless dedication to duty have been demonstrated in every Commonwealth nation and territory, notably by those working on the frontline, who have been delivering health care and other public services in their communities,” the Queen in the address.