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Minggu, 07 Maret 2021

Royals live news: The Queen's speech, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Oprah interview, Prince Philip's health, Kate Middleton and Prince William updates - NEWS.com.au

Her Majesty appeared in a special broadcast called A Celebration for Commonwealth Day, which also featured Kate and William, Prince Charles and Camilla and Prince Edward’s wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex.

The hour-long program took place to mark Commonwealth Day on Monday – and comes ahead of Meghan’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, which airs on CBS in the United States at 8pm-10pm ET on Sunday (12pm-2pm Monday AEDT).

The rival broadcasts by the royal family and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex land amid huge controversy over Megan and Harry’s decision to give a tell-all interview on Palace life.

The Duchess of Sussex is also facing allegations of bullying aides during her time as a working royal, which she strenuously denies, with a spokesperson for the couple saying it is “no coincidence that distorted several-year-old accusations aimed at undermining the Duchess are being briefed to the British media shortly before she and the Duke are due to speak openly and honestly about their experience.”

Last month, the Sussexes officially stepped back from royal duties, after announcing they were expecting their second child. Meghan has also won a privacy battle against a UK newspaper over a letter she sent her father, Thomas.

Follow all the action here live.

Live Updates

Let's take a look at how the media has responded to the Queen's Commonwealth Day broadcast.

It's hard to deny that the headlines tell a story of a series of devastating put-downs, delivered neatly wrapped up in a bow.

The UK Telegraph has led with: "Queen stresses importance of family to 'transcend division' in message of unity".

The Sun has gone with "Queen praises nation’s ‘selfless dedication to duty’ as Royals brace themselves for explosive Harry and Meghan interview".

And The Mirror has plumped for "Queen stresses importance of staying in touch with family during 'testing times'".

Sky News and the Daily Mail have both noted that Her Majesty hailed "friendship and unity" in the Commonwealth address.

Baroness Scotland, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, has spoken in the Abbey's St George's Chapel.

"Let us pledge ourselves afresh to uphold the values of the Commonwealth, that every person possesses unique worth and dignity," she said.

Her words came after singer-songwriter Lianne La Havas performed the Aretha Franklin hit I Say a Little Prayer, backed by members of the ACM Gospel Choir.

The Dean of Westminster, David Hoyle, followed up with a prayer "that we might be agents of deeper peace and greater justice".

Finally, the Abbey Choir are singing John Rutter’s For the Beauty of the Earth to close out the royal broadcast.

All in all, it's been a very solemn and regal program calling attention to ideas of "duty", "service" and setting an "example".

Not long now until Harry and Meghan's turn to shine. It will be an extremely different show.

Singer-songwriter Lianne La Havas performs the Aretha Franklin classic I Say a Little Prayer, backed by members of the ACM Gospel Choir pic.twitter.com/Sul5xaLkRL

— Westminster Abbey (@wabbey) March 7, 2021
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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are speaking to "inspirational figures from South Africa, Bangladesh and Malaysia who have been caring for their communities during the pandemic".

Kate noted that there had been a lot of "public recognition" for healthcare workers during the pandemic, but said it was also "sad that it's taken the pandemic" for that to happen.

Picture: BBC

Prince William said he and Kate, both looking deeply serious for most of their Commonwealth Day broadcast, had spoken to many healthcare workers this year.

They must be feeling incredible strain at this moment, with Meghan's interview only hours away, in which she's expected to discuss her rift with Kate.

The Duchess of Cambridge could reportedly be called to give evidence after former aides claimed she witnessed Meghan’s alleged “challenging behaviour” – claims the Duchess of Sussex vehemently denies.

To mark International Women's Day, the Countess of Wessex and broadcaster June Sarpong are speaking to Virginia Khunguni in Malawi and Caitlin Figueiredo in Australia.

Ms Figueiredo spoke of the importance of having women in the room making decisions while Ms Khunguni spoke of the technology challenges in Malawi.

Picture: BBC

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, said "there can be fatigue" talking about women's rights and that she wanted conversations to move to a more level playing field. "It's a win-win, not one against the other," she said.

Now British heptathlete Denise Lewis is speaking of coming together through sport and its power to change lives.

Here's that Queen's speech in full for you to pore over the hidden meaning:

In a message to celebrate #CommonwealthDay The Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, has paid tribute to communities across the family of nations who've come together in response to the pandemic. In a special programme on BBC One today on Sunday 7th March. pic.twitter.com/XYzgo23GBv

— Dickie Arbiter 🇬🇧 (@RoyalDickie) March 7, 2021
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Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, has spoken about her love of books and their importance during the pandemic.

It's followed by a spoken word performance, Omnipresence by James Massiah.

‘Be you far or be you near, somehow for me you're always there’: South London poet and spoken word artist James Massiah is reading his piece Wide Eyes. You can find out more about James and his work here: https://t.co/7EdHKvMKER pic.twitter.com/7hP5FAvVYB

— Westminster Abbey (@wabbey) March 7, 2021
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Here's another key line from the Queen: "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."

There's that idea of connection and mutual support again – something that seems distinctly lacking in royal circles at present.

Camilla's chat is followed by a performance by the New Zealand Youth Choir.

Graduates of the New Zealand Youth Choir begin singing Maori greeting Kua Rongo in the Abbey, with the performance continued by members of the choir at home in New Zealand pic.twitter.com/PzUOQhHMMd

— Westminster Abbey (@wabbey) March 7, 2021
https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Prince Charles has called on viewers of the royals' special Commonwealth Day program to "offer an example to the world".

He praised environmental projects including green hydrogen in Australia and sustainable shipping in Barbados.

The Prince of Wales said that amidst the "heartbreak" of the pandemic the "extraordinary determination, courage and creativity with which people have responded has been an inspiration to us all".

Picture: BBC

The royals are clearly aiming for quiet dignity and poise with their COVID-focused broadcast before the Meghan interview, but there are certainly some pointed lines here.

For example: is it any coincidence that the Queen's short speech praised those delivering healthcare and "public services", following the snarky exchange over how to live "a life of service" with the Sussexes.

Prince Charles has chosen to praise the "remarkable diversity" of the Commonwealth.

He said the pandemic had "robbed countless people of their lives and livelihoods", but hailed the courage and creativity with which people have responded.

He said the pandemic had shown how health and economics are fundamentally connected, speaking of climate change and the loss of biodiversity.

🌍 In this year’s #CommonwealthDay message The Queen
pays tribute to the way in which communities across the family of nations have come together in response to the pandemic. pic.twitter.com/rOoUMJLlKg

— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) March 7, 2021
https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

The Queen said today was an opportunity to "reflect on an experience like no other", highlighting "stirring examples of courage, commitment and selfless dedication to duty" that have been demonstrated in every Commonwealth country.

She spoke of online gatherings connecting people despite distance necessitated by COVID-19.

"I hope we shall maintain this renewed sense of community," she said.

The royal Commonwealth Day broadcast has begun at Westminster Abbey.

The Dean of Westminster David Hoyle said that "distance doesn't stop friendship", adding that "our future is to be together".

He said the Queen, as head of the Commonwealth, regularly reminded us of its values – "loyalty and friendship and a commitment to peace and to freedom".

The Queen's special Commonwealth Day program will begin in around five minutes.

Today's broadcasts first by the Queen and then by Meghan and Harry are historic, even for those who have little interest in the monarchy.

The explosive interview by the Duchess of Sussex is set to blow the lid open on royal secrets, revealing how and why the 39-year-old and husband Prince Harry felt compelled to leave the UK.

#EXCLUSIVE: In this extended first clip from @Oprah's interview with Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex says what it means to be able to speak for herself.

It comes one year after the couple left England and stepped back from full-time royal life.#OprahMeghanHarry pic.twitter.com/o3AdxpmLrh

— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) March 5, 2021
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Buckingham Palace is openly unhappy with the decision, with its echoes of Princess Diana's famous 1995 interview in which she announced: "There were three of us in this marriage."

Robert Lacey, author and royal adviser to Netflix’s hit series The Crown, told The Guardian: "Anthropologically it is so interesting."

He said that in a secular society, the royals were "the closest thing we have to religion" and the primetime broadcast of Meghan's Oprah chat on CBS in US was evidence of that.

Meghan has described the interview as "liberating", revealing that she was banned from speaking to the talk show host while she was a working member of the royal family.

Her revelations will come as she is accused of bullying by unnamed royal sources – claims she strenuously denies. Her remarks could include a discussion of her rift with Kate Middleton and claims about snobbery or racist treatment, all of which could be very damaging to the carefully cultivated royal image.

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2021-03-07 15:57:16Z
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