Buckingham Palace has revealed the Queen will address the United Kingdom in a televised statement hours before the Duke and Duchess of Sussex sit down for a tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Sunday, March 7 — or Monday Australian time — will be blockbuster viewing for royal fans. But the Queen's televised statement is apparently not an attempt to get ahead of Harry and Meghan's widely anticipated Oprah interview.
Instead, it will replace the annual Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey, with the in-person ceremony being scrapped due to coronavirus.
The consecutive events highlight the fracture in the royal family.
Last Commonwealth Day was the last time the Duke and Duchess of Sussex appeared in public with the Queen and other senior royals before they left the UK for North America.
The Queen's video will also feature the Prince of Wales and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. It will be pre-recorded at Windsor Castle, where she has spent the pandemic with Prince Phillip, before he was admitted to hospital last week after feeling unwell for reasons unrelated to coronavirus.
Meghan and Harry's "wide-ranging interview" will be broadcast from the US by CBS.
"Winfrey will speak with Meghan … covering everything from stepping into life as a royal, marriage, motherhood, philanthropic work, to how she is handling life under intense public pressure," CBS said in a statement.
"Later, the two are joined by Prince Harry as they speak about their move to the United States and their future hopes and dreams for their expanding family."
The split is official
The 90-minute Oprah interview comes after the couple's split with the Royal Family was formalised over the weekend.
A statement from Buckingham Palace said while "all are saddened" by the Duke and Duchess's decision, the couple remained "much loved members of the family".
The split means the couple did not need permission from Buckingham Palace for the Oprah interview.
The Queen is known for her guarded attitude to media coverage, and is said to follow the mantra "never complain, never explain".
The Duchess is pregnant with the couple's second child, following a miscarriage that she wrote about for the New York Times, calling the experience one of "almost unbearable grief".
Last week, the couple announced an exclusive podcasting deal with Spotify to "drive powerful conversations" that "inspire, challenge and educate".
Whether Meghan and Harry's interview will be as explosive as Princess Diana's notorious BBC Panorama interview remains to be seen.