Her family rocked by Meghan and Harry interview, queen stresses importance of loved ones in pandemic

Queen Elizabeth II walks past flags.
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II walks past the flags of Commonwealth countries at Windsor Castle.
(Steve Parsons / Pool photo)

Queen Elizabeth II highlighted the importance of staying in touch with friends and families during the COVID-19 pandemic in a message broadcast Sunday hours before Oprah Winfrey’s revealing interview with Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, was aired in the U.S.

In her royal address before Commonwealth Day on Monday, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch also touched on the role of technology in keeping people connected amid the pandemic.

She made no mention of the Winfrey interview with her grandson and his wife, which is set to air Monday in Britain.


“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 queen said in her audio message.

People have become used to “connecting and communicating by our innovative technology,” which allows them to “stay in touch with friends, family, colleagues and counterparts,” she said. Online communication “transcends boundaries or division, helping any sense of distance to disappear.”

The queen also paid tribute to the front-line workers in the fight against COVID-19 in Commonwealth nations.

Her message of unity stood in contrast to the turmoil in her own household before Winfrey’s interview, which provided an unprecedented glimpse into Harry and Meghan’s departure from royal duties and the treatment from the media and the royal family itself that they said precipitated it.

It’s unclear whether the queen or other royal family members will react publicly to the interview. The Sunday Times newspaper, citing an anonymous source, reported that the queen wouldn’t watch it.