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Queen Elizabeth calls for unity ahead of Meghan Markle, Prince Harry interview in Commonwealth Day speech

stressed the importance of unity and family in a royal address that aired just hours before and ‘s is set to air.

In a message broadcast on Sunday, Britain’s monarch also touched on the role of technology in keeping people connected with friends and family amid the global .

Although it came hours before the highly anticipated interview, the queen made no mention of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex or their upcoming interview with Winfrey, which will 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.”

In this photo made available Sunday March 7, 2021, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II poses for a photo while signing her annual Commonwealth Day Message inside St George's Hall at Windsor Castle, England, Friday March 5, 2021.

In this photo made available Sunday March 7, 2021, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II poses for a photo while signing her annual Commonwealth Day Message inside St George’s Hall at Windsor Castle, England, Friday March 5, 2021. (Steve Parsons/Pool via AP)

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.

and departed royal life a year ago over. The sit-down with Winfrey is a chance for the couple to explain what led them to quit royal life, citing what they said were the unbearable intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media.

'Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special' airs March 7, 2021.

‘Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special’ airs March 7, 2021. (Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions via AP, File)

Pre-released clips have already shown Harry talking about his fears that history would repeat itself after his mother, , died in a car crash while pursued by paparazzi. In another clip from the interview, Winfrey asks Meghan how she feels about the palace “hearing you speak your truth today?”

In another pre-released clip,  it was to have a conversation with the television host without the input of royal minders.

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 .

On top of the pandemic and record economic slump, Prince Philip, Harry’s 99-year-old grandfather, is now .

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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