Minggu, 07 Maret 2021

Before Harry and Meghan interview, Queen speaks of ‘selfless dedication to duty’ - Sydney Morning Herald

London: The Queen has spoken of “selfless dedication to duty” in a message broadcast just hours before a tell-all television interview by Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, airs in the United States.

The 94-year-old monarch will be briefed on the couple’s encounter with American talkshow host Oprah Winfrey when she wakes at Windsor Castle on Monday morning but reportedly has no intention of watching it.

The two-hour special will air in the US on Sunday night, or midday Australia-time, and is expected to contain bombshell claims to rival Princess Diana’s famous 1995 interview with the BBC’s Panorama program.

The Queen is bracing for the fallout from Harry and Meghan’s claims as concerns grow for 99-year-old Prince Philip, who has spent his 19th night in hospital after contracting an infection and undergoing heart surgery.

In a video message celebrating Commonwealth Day, the Queen said the 54 member nations had 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 to duty 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,” she said.

“We have also taken encouragement from remarkable advances in developing new vaccines and treatments.”

The Queen delivers her Commonwealth Day message from Windsor Castle.

The Queen delivers her Commonwealth Day message from Windsor Castle. Credit:Getty

The reference to duty was particularly pointed given Harry and Meghan recently fired a barb at Buckingham Palace over what constitutes service.


The royal household last month said the couple’s decision to confirm their split from the monarchy meant it was “not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service”. They were both stripped of their honorary military appointments and royal patronages.

The pair later released a statement saying they “remain committed to their duty and service to the UK and around the world”.

“We can all live a life of service. Service is universal.”

Tensions between the California-based duo and the royal household have dramatically escalated since and revelations have emerged that Meghan was the subject of a bullying complaint in 2018.

The complaint was lodged by the couple’s then communications secretary Jason Knauf, who was worried about Meghan’s alleged treatment of young staff.

Meghan accuses Buckingham Palace of lying in the upcoming CBS interview.

“I don’t know how they could expect that, after all of this time, we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us,” she tells Oprah.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during their interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during their interview with Oprah Winfrey.Credit:AP

Buckingham Palace has launched an inquiry into the bullying allegations and whether they could have been handled better at the time.

In a show of family unity, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Sophie, the Countess of Wessex also recorded clips for the Commonwealth Day broadcast.

The Queen said meeting virtually during the coronavirus pandemic offered an “immediacy that transcends boundaries or division, helping any sense of distance to disappear”.

“We have all continued to appreciate the support, breadth of experiences and knowledge that working together brings, and I hope we shall maintain this renewed sense of closeness and community.”

The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age will live-blog CBS Presents Oprah with Meghan and Harry from 11.30am.

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2021-03-07 20:21:33Z

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