Queen Elizabeth and other senior British royals will appear in a TV program to discuss the importance of the Commonwealth on the same day Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Prince Harry and wife Meghan is aired.
For almost 50 years, the royal family have attended an annual Commonwealth Day service at London’s Westminster Abbey in March, but it has been cancelled this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead, the 94-year-old Queen will deliver a televised message as part of a program entitled A Celebration for Commonwealth Day, which will be broadcast on the BBC on March 7, the Abbey said.
There will also be contributions from Prince Charles and Prince William, with his wife Kate.
The program is due to air hours before Harry and Meghan’s much-anticipated tell-all, their first in-depth interview since they moved to the US, is to be broadcast on CBS.
Winfrey’s scoop comes at a time when the couple have been making international headlines with the announcement they are expecting a second child and news they are quitting their royal roles for good.
Harry and Meghan attended the Commonwealth Day service in person last year. It was their final official royal engagement before they moved to Los Angeles and stepped away from official duties, a decision that sent shockwaves through the monarchy.
Last week, Buckingham Palace announced the couple would not be returning and their treasured royal patronages would revert to the Queen and be distributed among other family members.
Dean of Westminster David Hoyle said the televised service would celebrate global links during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are so pleased that this rich and vibrant BBC programme with the Royal Family and the Abbey at its heart will celebrate our global connections at a time when we are all so physically isolated,” he said.