Queen Elizabeth celebrated on Sunday the sense of Commonwealth unity fostered by “a time like no other”, reports the BBC.
In a speech to mark Commonwealth Day, dedicated to the countries mainly from the former British empire that maintain links with Britain, the Queen welcomed the “deeper appreciation of the mutual support and spiritual sustenance we enjoy being connected to others” during the coronavirus pandemic.
For almost 50 years, the royal family has attended an annual Commonwealth Day service at London’s Westminster Abbey, but it has been cancelled this year because of the pandemic.
“Stirring examples of courage, commitment and selfless dedication to duty have been demonstrated in every Commonwealth nation and territory during the pandemic,” the Queen said.
The Commonwealth Day broadcast also featured other royals including Prince Charles, Duchess Camilla, Prince William and Duchess Kate.
The pandemic ruled out the usual in-person service to protect the 94-year-old queen and everybody else from Covid-19.
Queen Elizabeth and husband Prince Philip received the vaccine in January and have since urged others to follow suit.
Commonwealth Day, a major annual celebration of the 54 former territories of the British empire, is on Monday.
Ahead of the celebration, the queen called the coming week an “opportunity to reflect on a time like no other”: a year during which she and other royals have adjusted, among other things, to a calendar mostly consisting of virtual and television appearances rather than their usual in-person engagements.
“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,” Queen Elizabeth reflected. “In our everyday lives, we have had to become more accustomed to connecting and communicating via innovative technology – including Commonwealth meetings conducted online.”
The messages aired hours before American TV broadcasts the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s highly anticipated tell-all, their first in-depth interview since they moved to the US.
Celebrity interviewer Oprah Winfrey’s scoop will see Harry and Meghan explain why they abandoned Britain to start new lives in California.