What to expect from the Queen’s Commonwealth Day message
Watch: British Royal TV one-on-one with Harry and Meghan
On March 7, two unusual royal events will take place within hours of each other.
The Queen will deliver an audio message to her Commonwealth, as the annual Commonwealth Day service is moved to screens due to continued restrictions on coronaviruses.
The audio track will be a rare recorded message from the Queen, outside of her Christmas messages, and will likely reflect her commitment to the Commonwealth, which she pledged to serve over 70 years ago.
Hours after the broadcast, his grandson and wife will meet Oprah Winfrey in a 90-minute interview about royal life and their future.
Royal talks are not regular and the Queen never does them. Other royals are rarely interviewed in this way, and some have particularly bad experiences with television interviews.
The fact that these two rare events occur within hours of each other is a coincidence. Westminster Abbey made the decision to cancel the in-person service, which would have taken place on March 8, around the beginning of February, according to an abbey spokesperson.
Harry and Meghan’s interview with Winfrey was announced in mid-February, which means the palace had already accepted the service decision before they knew how well the message would go compared to the huge interview.
Commonwealth Day Service
The Queen still shares a message for Commonwealth Day, but last year it was simply printed in the Order of Service, rather than issued by Her Majesty.
Dickie Arbiter, former palace press secretary, said the message would come from her heart, because of the importance the Commonwealth has to her.
Announcing plans for the 2021 service, Buckingham Palace said: “The Queen will pay tribute to how communities of the family of nations have come together in response to the pandemic.”
In 2020, she wrote about how inspired she was by the diversity of the Commonwealth, especially when gatherings are held for Commonwealth Games or government meetings.
She wrote of how advancements in technology allowed people to have “the experience of connecting with the Commonwealth”, but that countries also envisioned “new ways of working together to achieve prosperity, while protecting our country. planet ”.
Watch: Meghan says it’s liberating to be able to speak for herself in new Oprah interview clip
In 2019, she said: “We can look to the future with more confidence and optimism thanks to the bonds we share, and thanks to the networks of cooperation and mutual aid to which we contribute and on which we rely.
“With a lasting commitment through times of great change, successive generations have demonstrated that while the goodwill for which the Commonwealth is renowned can be intangible, its impact is very real.”
In addition to the Queen, other members of the royal family will be involved to mark the day.
Prince Charles recorded a message addressing the universal devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic, while his wife Camilla spoke to broadcaster Clare Balding about the importance of books and reading to children across the Commonwealth.
Prince William and his wife Kate spoke with medical, charity and volunteer staff across the Commonwealth to hear about their work during the pandemic.
And Sophie, The Countess of Wessex, combined the celebration of Commonwealth Day with International Women’s Day in a conversation with three Commonwealth women, to hear about their experiences supporting other women and their communities at large.
Services at Westminster Abbey for Commonwealth Day began in 1972. Since at least 1994 Commonwealth Days have had a theme to which the Queen’s message is generally tied.
Harry and Meghan’s interview with Winfrey will also be pre-recorded and will first air in the United States on CBS.
Oprah with Meghan and Harry
Meghan, 39, will meet with Winfrey one-on-one to talk about “getting into royal life, marriage, motherhood … the way she manages life under intense public pressure”, before to be joined by her husband, Prince Harry, 36, for the remainder of the show.
This will be the couple’s first interview since their engagement.
The preview clips have already given Royal Watchers a taste of what’s to come in the two-hour event.
In a clip, Meghan expresses her relief at being able to speak to Winfrey, explaining that she was unable to decide whether or not to do the interview when Winfrey first approached her before marrying Harry.
Responding to why she’s doing the interview now, she said, “We’re on the other side of a lot of life experiences that have happened and we have the ability to make our own choices, in a way that I don’t. could not have said yes, you then, it was not my choice to make.
“As an adult who has lived a truly independent life and to step into this construction which is different from what I think people imagine.
“It’s really liberating to have the right and the privilege to be able to say yes in a certain way.”
She added: “I am ready to speak.”
In a clip released Thursday, asked what she thought the palace would think, Meghan said: “I don’t know how they could expect that after all this time we would stay quiet if there was an active role The Firm plays in perpetuating lies about us.
“And, if that carries a risk of losing things, I mean, I … there’s already a lot that has been lost.”
Some aspects of Harry’s comments were also followed.
At one point, speaking of stepping back and his mother, he said: “My biggest concern was for history to repeat itself.
“I’m really relieved and happy to be sitting here talking to you, with my wife by my side, because I can’t begin to imagine what it must have been like for her, going through this process on my own, all of it. those years ago.
“Because it’s been incredibly difficult for both of us, but at least we got to know each other. “
Ahead of the clips’ release, Vanity Fair Royal Editor Katie Nicholl said: “I don’t think the Sussexes are going to want to rock the boat with the Queen and it will be a very carefully crafted interview from both sides.
“The interview will, I’m sure, have a fascinating glimpse, but will be carefully choreographed.”
Royal commentator Victoria Arbiter told Good Morning Britain: “Harry and Meghan never said they wanted 100% privacy, they wanted to be able to balance their privacy with their public role and they wanted people to understand this which was prohibited. “
She said they were now better able to keep and protect their family’s privacy.
There are reports the Royal Family will be preparing to see what the couple say in the interview, with friends of Meghan telling the Sunday Times she will use it to “get her voice back”.
Oprah with Meghan and Harry will air on CBS at 8 p.m. EST on March 7, the early hours of March 8 in the UK.
ITV will broadcast the entire program on March 8 from 9 p.m.
The Commonwealth Service will air on BBC One on March 7 at 5 p.m. ET.