The annual Commonwealth Day service due to take place on Monday March 8, attended by the Queen and members of the royal family, will not go ahead due to the pandemic, Westminster Abbey has said.
To mark Commonwealth Day, the Queen will instead share her annual message in A Celebration For Commonwealth Day, which will be broadcast on Sunday March 7 on BBC One.
The Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Countess of Wessex will also take part in the programme, the Abbey said.
The address will fall on the same day as Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s tell all interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Announcing the Commonwealth Day TV show, the abbey tweeted: “We’re really pleased to tell you that BBC One will broadcast A Celebration for Commonwealth Day on 7 March.
“The special programme replaces this year’s Commonwealth Day service which is unable to go ahead due to the pandemic, and will include a special message from HM The Queen.
“Presented from the Abbey by Anita Rani, the programme will feature music and readings from across the Commonwealth, and reflections from The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Countess of Wessex.”
The Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, who will lead prayers, said: “The Commonwealth Service is one of the Abbey’s most important annual services, but as it is not possible to gather here, we have seized the chance to take the celebration well beyond these walls.
“We are so pleased that this rich and vibrant BBC programme with the Royal Family and the Abbey at its heart will celebrate our global connections at a time when we are all so physically isolated.”