Members of the royal family will come together to share messages in a TV programme in place of this year’s Commonwealth Day Service, which has been cancelled.
The annual celebration, which was Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s final ever public engagement as royals last year before they quit, normally takes place in March but has been called off due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Instead, the Queen will share her annual message in a special programme, A Celebration For Commonwealth Day.
The show will air on BBC One on March 7 – the same day as Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s tell all interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Prince Charles, Camilla, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Sophie Wessex are all due to be part of the programme, Westminster Abbey has confirmed.
Meghan’s tell all interview, which will air at 8pm Eastern Time, so 1am in the UK, will cover her brief time in the royal family and go into detail about her decision to quit.
The interview has already been filmed, but is being re-edited after the Queen’s announcement that Megxit will be permanent and the couple have lost their royal patronages.
A source told the Mirror: “When the Duke and Duchess spoke, it was never envisaged they would have their patronages taken away.
“They didn’t see it coming and spoke as they still had roles to play.
“Now, however, other than their titles, they are to have no role in royal life – a point producers know was not discussed when Winfrey spoke to them.
“Neither the Sussexes nor the TV crew saw the fallout of their interview leading to this. Harry and Meghan thought they would retain their roles
“But things have significantly changed for them since they eagerly sat for Winfrey and poured their hearts out.”
Announcing the Commonwealth Day TV show, the abbey tweeted: “We’re really pleased to tell you that BBC One will broadcast A Celebration for Commonwealth Day on 7 March.
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“The special programme replaces this year’s Commonwealth Day service which is unable to go ahead due to the pandemic, and will include a special message from HM The Queen.
“Presented from the Abbey by Anita Rani, the programme will feature music and readings from across the Commonwealth, and reflections from The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Countess of Wessex.”
The Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, who will lead prayers, said: “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 programme 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.”
-- to www.mirror.co.uk