Prince Charles pays tribute to Commonwealth 'courage and creativity' as interview with Prince Harry, Meghan due to air

The UK's Prince Charles paid tribute to the courage shown throughout the Commonwealth in response to coronavirus in a broadcast that will air on Sunday (local time), hours before Prince Harry and Meghan talk about stepping down from royal duties on US television.

Prince Charles was joined by other royals, including his elder son and heir Prince William, in talking about the impact of COVID-19 in messages recorded for a programme marking Commonwealth Day dedicated to the countries, mainly from the former British empire, that maintain links with the UK.

"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," Prince Charles said in the message.

"Amidst such heartbreaking suffering, however, the extraordinary determination, courage, and creativity with which people have responded have been an inspiration to us all."

The Prince's message will feature in the programme on UK television on Sunday hours before an interview with his younger son Prince Harry and wife Meghan is shown in the US.

Excerpts of the pre-recorded Oprah Winfrey interview have shown Meghan, 39, saying she is "ready to talk" about her experience of marrying into the UK royals in 2018.

Queen Elizabeth's grandson and his wife stunned the royal family in January last year by announcing they would step down from their official roles to forge a new, independent life in California.

The split was confirmed last month, and, in the last week, the couple and Buckingham Palace have engaged in an increasingly bitter war of words, amid claims of lies, bullying and smears.

Prince Harry and Meghan.
Prince Harry and Meghan. Photo credit: CBS

It also comes as the queen's 99-year old husband Prince Philip is in hospital in London after undergoing a procedure to treat a heart condition.

Commonwealth Day is usually marked with a service held at London's Westminster Abbey, but it was cancelled this year due to the pandemic.

It will be replaced by a special programme - A Celebration for Commonwealth Day - which will be broadcast on BBC One at 5pm on Sunday (local time).