Queen Elizabeth will appear on television hours before Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Oprah interview

People

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s TV special with Oprah Winfrey – their first sitting interview since getting engaged – aired just hours after their own TV appearance.

The annual Commonwealth Day service, which is usually attended by people from all over the world at Westminster Abbey, was canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, the BBC is broadcasting a television special with members of the royal family. Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Prince William, Kate Middleton and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, will all be contributing, while the 94-year-old monarch will appear in a recorded message from Windsor Castle.

The Commonwealth Day TV special has been in the works since January, and the time window was set about three weeks ago as PEOPLE understands.

Paul Grover – WPA Pool / Getty Images Queen Elizabeth, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Prince William and Kate Middleton

The show will air on Sunday, March 7th, the same day as the CBS 90-minute prime time special, in which Oprah sits down for an “intimate conversation” with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. (Due to the time difference, Meghan and Harry’s interview will air in the UK in the early hours of March 8th.)

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David Livingston / Getty; Chris Jackson / Getty Oprah Winfrey; Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

The special broadcast weeks after Meghan, 39, and Prince Harry, 36, announced they were expecting their second child – and shortly after they confirmed they would not be returning as working members of the royal family.

CBS said Oprah’s conversation with Meghan would, according to a statement, “cover everything from entering life as a king, marriage, motherhood, philanthropic work to dealing with life under heavy public pressure”. “The two are later joined by Prince Harry as they discuss their move to the US and their future hopes and dreams for their growing family.”

PHIL HARRIS / POOL / AFP via Getty Images Commonwealth Day 2020

The March 2020 Commonwealth Day celebration marked Meghan and Prince Harry’s final appearance as working royals – and the last time they were seen with members of the royal family.

Chris Jackson / Getty Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Commonwealth Day 2020

Phil Harris – WPA Pool / Getty Images Commonwealth Day 2020

Later that month, Harry and Meghan moved to California with their son Archie, who will turn two in May.

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Misan Harriman Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s pregnancy will be announced on February 14th

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Less than a week after the couple announced they were expecting their second child, Buckingham Palace confirmed that the couple will not officially return to their royal roles. The announcement came a few weeks before the 12-month review period.

Meghan and Harry will no longer retain their patronage (their royal stake in numerous UK charities). In addition, Prince Harry will lose his honorary military appointments, which will subsequently be redistributed “among the working members of the royal family”.

Although Prince Harry and Meghan are no longer using their coveted HRH titles, they will keep them – along with their titles Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

“While everyone is saddened by their decision, the Duke and Duchess remain very beloved family members,” said Buckingham Palace’s announcement.

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