Queen Elizabeth, sharing her annual Commonwealth Day message on Sunday, stressed the importance of community, even at a distance due to the coronavirus pandemic.
She saluted the work of front line workers across the Commonwealth and said that during these “testing times” people can appreciate “how we are connected to others.”
The Queen was to be joined by other senior royals for the special broadcast to mark one of the most important events on her calendar.
Breaking from tradition in previous years — when members of the Royal Family and representatives of the Commonwealth nations would gather for a multi-faith service in London — the Queen appeared on television to deliver the address, pre-recorded at Windsor Castle due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Those joining her for the BBC One program, called A Celebration for Commonwealth Day, include Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, as well as Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.
Absent this year are William’s brother, Prince Harry, and Harry’s wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, who attended last year’s event held at Westminster Abbey.
Millions are expected to tune in several hours after the Commonwealth Day program for the couple’s televised interview with American talk-show host Oprah Winfrey.
Harry and Meghan are expected to explain, directly to the public for the first time, why they stepped back as working members of the Royal Family last year during the two-hour special, airing at 8 p.m. ET.