The Courier-Mail

Needs of the many outweigh One’s needs

Two imminent TV interviews will see the runaway Sussexes facing off with the family Harry has left behind, writes Kerry Parnell

- STEPHEN DRILL

THE Queen has made a stand against anti-vaccinatio­n groups, saying that people hesitant to have a coronaviru­s jab need to “think about other people”.

In a remarkable interventi­on, the 94-year-old monarch encouraged those with doubts about the vaccines to follow her example to get “protected”. The Queen, who supported the polio vaccine in 1957 by allowing Prince Charles to be jabbed, said people who were wary of the vaccine needed to think of the greater good.

“I think the other thing is; it is obviously difficult for people if they’ve never had a vaccine,” she said. “They ought to think about other people rather than themselves.”

Britain has vaccinated 19m people, including the Queen, at a rate of 400,000 per day.

The Queen, whose husband Prince Philip, 99, remains in hospital for an unrelated health condition, said she felt reassured since her vaccinatio­n in January.

“Well once you have a vaccine you have a feeling of you know, you’re protected, which is I think very important,” she said. “As far as I can make out it was quite harmless.

“It was very quick, and I’ve had lots of letters from people who have been surprised by how easy it was to get the vaccine. And the jab – it didn’t hurt at all.”

Britain was on track to offer all adults a vaccine by July 31, with those over 50 and an underlying health condition to get an invitation before April 15. The Queen told leaders from the National Health Service staff of her gratitude for their work.

It’s the TV title fight of the year and next weekend’s interviewo­ff between California­n royalty Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and The Queen and Commonweal­th Co, is tipped in favour of the Windsor heavyweigh­ts.

Next weekend sees the muchpublic­ised airing of Oprah’s tell-all chat with Meghan and Harry, where, it’s touted, nothing is barred. The interview is scheduled to run on CBS, Sunday March 7.

However, pipping them to first place on the podium comes The Commonweal­th Crew, as the Queen, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, appear in the BBC special A Celebratio­n For Commonweal­th Day also on March 7. The program should air before Oprah and will feature a message from the Queen, with other Royal Family members talking to people from the 54 nations of the Commonweal­th.

It’s all the more poignant, because Harry and Meghan had been seen as central to the future of the Commonweal­th, particular­ly with their appeal to younger people. Until last week they were the president and vicepresid­ent of the Queen’s Commonweal­th Trust and Meghan was patron of the Associatio­n of Commonweal­th Universiti­es.

However, having gained their financial and emotional independen­ce, the couple will now have to watch the remaining members of the family continue their role, while they concentrat­e on their Archewell initiative­s, such as their $32 million Spotify deal.

Last year’s Commonweal­th Day at Westminste­r Abbey was Harry and Meghan’s final public engagement and Oprah’s interview is timed to be one year on from this; but in doing so, also highlights the work Harry’s relatives have picked up after he left.

Following the dramatic severing of the pair’s royal patronages, their biographer and spokesman Omid Scobie, tweeted, “Freedom Found!” with supporters celebratin­g their liberation.

But some royal insiders think Harry and Meghan’s final skirmishes with the Queen – including releasing a statement saying, “We can all live a life of service. Service is universal” – has had the unexpected effect of changing the perception of the Royal Family from stuffy to laid-back and they have, by accident, made the Windsors more popular, especially in Britain.

“The Royal Family taking on more duties since the Sussexes left, combined with the pandemic and how they’ve handled it, has made the British public view them more favourably,” says Brittani Barger, deputy editor of Royal Central. She says William and Catherine in particular, have enjoyed an increase in popularity. “The Cambridges have really shone”.

According to a new YouGov survey, 49 per cent of Brits believe Harry should be removed from his place in the line of succession compared to 28 per cent who disagreed and in an earlier poll, 46 per cent said the Oprah

It’s hard to think Harry won’t come back to see his grandfathe­r, but the pandemic is making it much more complicate­d JOE LITTLE, MAJESTY MAGAZINE

interview was inappropri­ate, compared to 29 per cent who considered it fine. Interestin­gly, younger people were on their side – 52 per cent of 18-24-yearolds thought it acceptable.

“I think Harry giving up his place in the line of succession, unless he chooses to do so, would be taking things too far,” says Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine.

The differing approach to baby photos has also made the Royal Family appear more relaxed, says Brittani. Earlier this month Harry and Meghan announced their second child with an arty black and white photograph, shot remotely from the UK by society photograph­er Misan Harriman. This was followed by Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank posting a happy snap on Instagram of their new baby August, which was taken by their visiting midwife.

“I think we can expect to see many pictures of August on Eugenie’s Instagram as she will be more open,” says Barger.

Palace insiders say the Queen is depending on her “Magnificen­t Seven” of Charles, Camilla, Anne, Edward, Sophie, William and Catherine, to shoulder more duties and “put on a united front” for the future.

While the Queen is said to be keen to “draw a line” under past tensions with Harry and Meghan, future relations can only improve. “What now needs to happen is that the Windsors attempt to heal the intensely personal rifts within the family,” says Little.

And with Britain’s roadmap out of lockdown unveiled this week, will Harry fly in to visit his ailing grandfathe­r? “It’s hard to think that Harry won’t come back to see his grandfathe­r, but pandemic restrictio­ns internatio­nally are making that much more complicate­d,” he says.

The year marks many anniversar­ies for the Royal Family — the Queen celebrates her 95th birthday in April and Prince Philip his 100th in June and while Harry welcomes his second child, he has also pledged to be in London to unveil Diana’s statue at Kensington Palace in July, to mark what would have been his mother’s 60th birthday. Side-by-side with his brother William, it will be the family’s biggest test yet.

 ??  ?? Queen Elizabeth II.
Queen Elizabeth II.
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 ??  ?? Queen Elizabeth II is facing yet another difficult and intriguing year. Picture: AFP
Queen Elizabeth II is facing yet another difficult and intriguing year. Picture: AFP
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 ??  ?? Young royals (from
left) William & Catherine; Harry and Meghan; and Princess Eugenie with husband Jack Brooksbank and
the newest royal, their son August (also holding his hand,
above).
Young royals (from left) William & Catherine; Harry and Meghan; and Princess Eugenie with husband Jack Brooksbank and the newest royal, their son August (also holding his hand, above).
 ??  ?? Charles and Camilla ... part of the Queen’s “Magnificen­t Seven”.
Charles and Camilla ... part of the Queen’s “Magnificen­t Seven”.

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