Prince Charles discusses virus in Commonwealth Day message
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Ahead of the Meghan Markle and Harry bombshell interview with Oprah tonight, the Royal Family will issue a personal message as part of a Commonwealth Day TV special. The Queen and five senior Royals will pay tribute to communities and countries who supported each other during the pandemic.
Prince Charles gave a heartbreaking speech saying how the pandemic has cruelly robbed people of their “lives and livelihoods”.
He said: “The coronavirus pandemic has affected every country of the Commonwealth.
“Cruelly robbing countless people of their lives and livelihoods.
“Disrupting our societies and denying us the human connections which we so dearly cherish.
“Amidst such heartbreaking suffering however the extraordinary determination, courage and creativity with which people have responded has been an inspiration to us all.”
He went on to say how the pandemic has shown us the “true nature of a global emergency”.
The Prince of Wales continued: “We’ve learned that human health, economic health and planetary health are fundamentally interconnected and that pandemics, climate change and biodiversity loss are existential threats which know no borders.”
Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, were filmed in Westminster Abbey.
Speaking to Clare Balding, Camilla opened up about the importance of books and reading for children.
She told the TV presenter: “I started reading when I was very, very young with a father who was a fervent bibliophile.
“So from the age of two or three he used to sit and read to us children, take us on wonderful adventures all over the world.
“And I think I was bitten at that age and from then I have just kept going and I have got involved in a lot of literacy programmes and patronages.
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“I just feel very strongly that all children should be taught to read.”
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, were filmed on video calls talking to medical staff across the Commonwealth.
Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, will also speak to Dr Zolelwa Sifumba, an advocate for the rights of health workers in South Africa.
During their video call, which will be part of the Commonwealth special, Kate said: “Here in the UK there’s been masses of public recognition of the amazing work the front line are doing and it’s sad, almost, that it’s taken the pandemic for the public to really back and support all those working on the front line.”
Harry and Meghan, who handed back their roles as Commonwealth ambassadors, do not feature in the broadcast.
The broadcast was suggested by the Royal Commonwealth Society and Westminster Abbey in early January after the Commonwealth Day Service would be cancelled due to lockdown.
The service last year marked the last royal engagement attended by Harry and Meghan before they stepped down from the Firm.
The annual service is one of the most important in the royal calendar, emphasising the Queen’s commitment to the Commonwealth.
The programme, A Celebration for Commonwealth Day, will air on the BBC tonight at 5pm.
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