The Queen will deliver a TV message to celebrate Commonwealth Day on the same day the much-talked-about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle interview airs.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s tell-all chat with Oprah Winfrey will run Sunday, March 7, which is the same day Her Majesty will address the nation in a Commonwealth Day message on BBC One.
The Queen will deliver the speech to the U.K. and the Commonwealth just hours before Harry and Meghan’s interview airs in the States, Vanity Fair reports.
Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William, and Kate Middleton have all agreed to film readings and reflections to mark the occasion.
A Palace source reportedly said, “Commonwealth Day is incredibly important to the Queen, she won’t be happy if anything overshadows it.”
Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, added, according to the Independent, “The Commonwealth Service is one of the Abbey’s most important annual services, but as it is not possible to gather here, we have seized the chance to take the celebration well beyond these walls.
“We are so pleased that this rich and vibrant BBC program 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.”
Last year’s Commonwealth Day service in Westminster Abbey was one of the last royal engagements Harry and Meghan attended before stepping down as senior royals.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the service can’t happen this year, so the BBC will air the service the day before Commonwealth Day on March 8.
The scheduling news comes after it was revealed on Friday that Harry and Meghan would not be returning as working members of the royals after a 12-month review was put in place for both parties to assess the situation.