• Queen Elizabeth II called for unity and family in a Commonwealth address
  • Prince William and Kate Middleton appeared in a virtual chat with a health care worker in South Africa
  • The Commonwealth address came hours before the Harry-Meghan interview with Oprah

Members of the British monarchy on Sunday appeared in a Commonwealth Day broadcast to stress the importance of unity and family hours before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s interview with Oprah Winfrey aired.

In a royal address, Queen Elizabeth II led the royal family to pay tribute to the 54 nations of the Commonwealth that have come together to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. The British monarchy also celebrated friendship and unity during the “testing times.”

"Over the coming week, as we celebrate the friendship, spirit of unity and achievements of the Commonwealth, we have an opportunity to reflect on a time like no other," the Queen said at the start of her speech.

"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,” she added.

Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, also appeared in a broadcast on Sunday, where they spoke with Dr. Zolelwa Sifumba, a frontline health care worker in South Africa.

"This #CommonwealthDay The Duke and Duchess spoke with medical, charity and voluntary staff from across the Commonwealth to hear more about the work they have been carrying out to care for those within their communities,” Kensington Royal wrote on a snippet of the virtual chat.

The British monarchy’s message of unity came hours before CBS was set to air Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s sit-down with Winfrey, in which they are expected to discuss the factors that led the couple to quit royal life.

During the interview, Meghan revealed that her life in the royal family drove her to have suicidal thoughts.

“I was really ashamed to say it at the time, and ashamed to have to admit it to Harry especially, because I know how much loss he has suffered, but I knew that if I didn't say it, that I would do it — and I just didn't want to be alive anymore,” Meghan told Oprah.

The former Duchess of Sussex also revealed that the British monarchy did not want to give Archie — their firstborn — a title or security because race was a concern within the royal institution.

“In the months when I was pregnant, all around the same time, so we have in tandem the conversation of he won't be given security, he's not going to be given a title, and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he's born," Meghan said. "It was really hard to see those as compartmentalized conversations.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are set to open up in a much-hyped interview with their neighbor Oprah Winfrey
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are set to open up in a much-hyped interview with their neighbor Oprah Winfrey AFP / NICHOLAS KAMM