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 -

Her Majesty delivered several barbed comments in a special broadcast called A Celebration for Commonwealth Day, which referred to “testing times” and 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. 

Follow all the action here live.

Live Updates

Morning folks, Nick Bond here, taking over from Emma Reynolds as we count down the hours to Meghan's big Oprah tell-all today.

And as we await the interview, Real Housewives of New York City star Bethenny Frankel has courted controversy with a scathing tweet dubbing Meghan an "unknown actress" who should be grateful she's now a "household name."

In a follow-up tweet, Frankel said of today's interview: "This isn’t the way to generate less press & cannot be filed under the guise of wanting privacy to prevent a repeat of previous events."

Her tweets have been met with a mixed reaction: "This seems unnecessarily cruel. I get your brand/have long been a fan of yours; this seems like something for which you might later apologize," wrote one fan.

"Not a white housewife comparing her struggle to Meghan’s. A woman of color joining the Royal Family. Everyone is working overtime trying to silence her. Let us hear what she has to say!" said another.

The British TV presenter who loves to hate Harry and Meghan has hit out at the pair ahead of their Oprah interview.

Piers Morgan tweeted that viewers of breakfast show Good Morning Britain would be able to see all the updates on the "royal whine-athon" as they awake.

The much-anticipated chat is due to air on CBS in five hours' time — at 8pm ET, or 12pm AEDT and 1am UK time.

It means we're in for a full day of Meghan clips and reaction, followed by further outrage and responses from royal sources as the UK awakes tomorrow.

Stay tuned.

Going to be a very lively 🔥🔥 morning. We’ll have all the new clips from tonight’s big Oprah royal whine-athon with Meghan/Harry + expert analysis & debate. Tune into ⁦@GMB⁩ from 6am – if only to throw your remote at the television….

— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) March 7, 2021

Meghan Markle's close friend Jessica Mulroney is the latest to speak out in defence of the Duchess of Sussex following claims she bullied palace aides.

The Canadian stylist, 41, posted a throwback photo of the pair on Instagram on Friday ahead of Meghan and Harry's Oprah upcoming interview.

"I don’t know that anyone has ever had to deal with the pressure, the politics and the press like this woman. In the face of it all, I have never seen her waver from kindness, empathy and love," Ms Mulroney captioned the post.

Ms Mulroney first met Meghan in Canada where the 39-year-old former actor filmed Suits. The stylist's children Ivy, 7, and 10-year-old twins John and Brian were part of the royal wedding.

The Canadian is just the latest friend to come to Meghan's defence after Buckingham Palace decided to launch a probe into claims she bullied royal staff, which the Duchess strongly denies.

Others include actors Jameela Jamil and Janina Gavankar and Meghan’s college BFF Lindsay Roth.

“I have known Meghan for 17 years," Gavankar wrote on Twitter. "Here’s what she is: kind, strong, open. Here’s what she’s not: ‘a bully’."

"Meg’s M.O. has always been kindness; goodwill runs in her bones. I know this to be true after 22 years of very close friendship," said Ms Roth in an Instagram post.

Meghan's former Suits co-star Patrick J. Adams said he was "sickened" by her treatment. “From day one she was an enthusiastic, kind, cooperative, giving, joyful and supporting member of our television family. She remained that person and colleague as fame, prestige and power accrued," he said in a lengthy Twitter thread.

Vice President Kamala Harris’ niece Meena Harris also sent out her support for Meghan, tweeting: “Keep Meghan Markle’s name out of your damn mouth. You are racist.”

So, you may have seen Meghan telling Oprah in a clip from their soon-to-air interview that she had been forced to turn down an approach from the talk-show host in 2018.

"I wasn’t even allowed to have that conversation with you, personally. There had to be people sitting there,” Meghan recalls of their phone conversation.

#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

— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) March 5, 2021

However, in the latest of many pushbacks, multiple royal sources have told the UK Telegraph that the Duchess of Sussex “called all the shots” in managing her own media.

They claimed the 39-year-old “had full control” over her interviews and was in fact cultivating relationships with powerful media figures including Oprah Winfrey and British Vogue editor Edward Enninful, drawing on a team of US advisers as well as Buckingham Palace PR staff.

In the clip, Oprah says to Meghan: "There were other people in the room when we had that conversation."

But two separate royal sources told The Telegraph that the pair met privately at Kensington Palace not long after the call with no Palace PR staff present.
Nonetheless, it does seem unlikely that Meghan would have got away with giving a warts-and-all CBS interview during her time as a working royal.

More than anything, what this confirms is that royal sources are willing and ready to anonymously brief UK media against as many Meghan claims as they can.

Prepare for major retaliation after the Duchess gets her say – and it won't be as polite or veiled as the royal broadcast.

Royal commentators are facing criticism after they gave assessments of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s interview days before seeing it in a YouTube prank.

Commentators including the Queen’s former press secretary Dickie Arbiter and CNN’s Victoria Arbiter spoke to pranksters Josh Pieters and Archie Manners on Friday, believing they were speaking to a news outlet and the clip would be shown after the CBS broadcast, The Guardian reports.

Editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine Ingrid Seward said that “to my mind this was an actress giving one of her great performances – from start to finish, Meghan was acting".

Commentator Richard Fitzwilliams said it was “not a balanced interview” and Oprah had given the couple “an easy ride”, adding that Meghan “used extremely strong language to describe her relations with members of the royal household”.

The pranksters also persuaded some of the experts to discuss fake interview topics, including Meghan’s support for a donkey sanctuary and refusal to have the COVID-19 vaccine.

Watched the #BBCs excellent ‘A Celebration for Commonwealth Day’ during which 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.

— Dickie Arbiter 🇬🇧 (@RoyalDickie) March 7, 2021

Here's the Queen's 308-word Commonwealth Day speech in full, so you can peruse the hidden messages at your leisure in the few hours to go until Meghan's big moment:

Over the coming week, as we celebrate the friendship, spirit of unity and achievements of the Commonwealth, we have 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. We have also taken encouragement from remarkable advances in developing new vaccines and treatments.

Read the #CommonwealthDay message by Her Majesty The Queen, Head of the Commonwealth:

Watch the #Commonwealth Day message by Her Majesty The Queen on the @commonwealthsec YouTube channel: #CommonwealthDelivers | @RoyalFamily

— The Commonwealth (@commonwealthsec) March 7, 2021

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.

The need to maintain greater physical distance, or to live and work largely in isolation, has, for many people across the Commonwealth, been an unusual experience. In our everyday lives, we have had to become more accustomed to connecting and communicating via innovative technology – which has been new to some of us – with conversations and communal gatherings, including Commonwealth meetings, conducted online, enabling people to stay in touch with friends, family, colleagues and counterparts, who they have not been able to meet in person. Increasingly, we have found ourselves able to enjoy such communication, as it offers 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. Looking forward, relationships with others across the Commonwealth will remain important, as we strive to deliver a common future that is sustainable and more secure, so that the nations and neighbourhoods in which we live, wherever they are located, become healthier and happier places for us all.

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

— Westminster Abbey (@wabbey) March 7, 2021

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.

— Dickie Arbiter 🇬🇧 (@RoyalDickie) March 7, 2021

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2021-03-07 19:29:05Z

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