Queen stresses importance of friends, family during pandemic

Technology

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II walks past Commonwealth flags in St George’s Hall at Windsor Castle, England to mark Commonwealth Day in this image that was issued on Saturday March 6, 2021. The timing couldn’t be worse for the Queen’s grandson Harry and his wife Meghan. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will finally get the chance to tell the story behind their departure from royal duties directly to the public on Sunday, when their two-hour interview with Oprah Winfrey is broadcast. (Steve Parsons/Pool via AP)

LONDON (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II highlighted the importance of staying in touch with friends and families during the coronavirus pandemic in a message broadcast on Sunday.

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

She made no mention of Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan — the Duke and Duchess of Sussex — which is set to air Sunday evening in the U.S., and on Monday in the U.K.

“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” that 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 helping in the fight against COVID-19 in Commonwealth nations.

Her message of unity stood in contrast to the turmoil in the royal family before the interview, which promises to provide an unprecedented glimpse into the couple’s departure from royal duties and the strains it has put them under.

Harry and Meghan departed royal life a year ago over what they described as the intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media toward the duchess, who is biracial.

It’s unclear what public reaction, if any, the queen and other royal family members will have to the interview. The U.K.’s Sunday Times newspaper, citing an anonymous source, reported that the queen wouldn’t watch it.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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