Queen Elizabeth II addressed the world just hours before Oprah Winfrey’s must-see interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
In a pre-recorded speech from St. George’s Hall at Windsor Castle, the monarch marked Commonwealth Day on Sunday with a tribute to how the communities across the 54 states have come together during the “testing times” of the past year.
“Over the coming week, as we celebrate the friendship, spirit of unity, and achievements of the Commonwealth, we have an opportunity to reflect on a time like no other. Whilst experiences of the last year have been different across the Commonwealth, stirring examples of courage, commitment, and selfless dedication have been demonstrated in every Commonwealth nation and territory, notably by those working on the frontline who have been delivering healthcare and other public services in their communities.”
The 94-year-old royal continued:
“We have also taken encouragement from remarkable advances in developing new vaccines and treatments. 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 further added how “the need to maintain greater physical distance, or to live and work largely in isolation, has, for many people across the Commonwealth, been an unusual experience.”
As royal-fanatics may know, the Commonwealth Day service usually takes place at Westminster Abbey, but due to COVID-19 restrictions was turned into a TV event. Prince Charles, Prince William, Kate Middleton, and Sophie Countess of Wessex also participated in the BBC special. Her Majesty further noted the creative ways in which we’ve had to connect and communicate with others during the ongoing pandemic.
“In our everyday lives, we have had to become more accustomed to connecting and communicating via innovative technology — which has been new to some of us — with conversations and communal gatherings, including Commonwealth meetings, conducted online, enabling people to stay in touch with friends, family, colleagues, and counterparts, who they have not been able to meet in person.”
As a side note, Elizabeth has become quite the master in the art of video calling herself! According to People, she recently spoke about the COVID-19 vaccine in a WebEx video chat with health leaders from the UK’s four nations — and she did so beautifully.
Anyway, the ruler ironically concluded the televised address with some words on unity.
“We have all continued to appreciate the support, breadth of experiences, and knowledge that working together brings, and I hope that we shall maintain this renewed sense of closeness and community.”
She then added:
“Looking forward, relationships with others across the Commonwealth will remain important as we strive to deliver a common future that is sustainable and more secure, so that the nations and neighborhoods, in which we live wherever they are located, become healthier and happier places for all.”
Well, isn’t that an interesting remark to make ahead of the Sussexes’ CBS primetime special with Oprah? The tell-all interview will be the couple’s first time revealing the details behind their decision to leave their roles within the monarchy and the media scrutiny over the years. In February, Buckingham Palace announced that Meghan and Harry would not return to their status as senior members. In case you didn’t know, the pair’s last official appearance as their roles happened to be on Commonwealth Day 2020. Oh, the timing of it all, huh?!
In one of the special promos, Oprah asked the Suits alum if there was “a breaking point” that led to their departure from the royal family in January 2020. To which Harry claimed his biggest concern was “history repeating itself.” Obviously, the prince referenced the struggles of his late mother, Princess Diana.
Now, we will just have to wait and see if Queen Elizabeth will also address the two-hour sit-down. A source recently revealed to The Times of London that she won’t “stay up and watch the interview” but will be briefed by a senior aide on what the couple actually discusses.
Are you guys ready for the highly-anticipated conversation? Sound OFF in the comments (below) with your thoughts!
[Image via WENN/Avalon & John Rainford/WENN]