In honor of Commonwealth Day—which happened to be the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s last public event before stepping down last year—the Queen aired an address to honor the “spirit of unity” across the U.K. in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
Instead of the typical Commonwealth Day service, which usually takes place at Westminster Abbey, the royal family participated in a BBC special that included the Queen’s speech. According to People, Prince William and Kate Middleton were also featured in the broadcast, speaking to frontline workers and volunteers across the Commonwealth.
“Over the coming week, as we celebrate the friendship, spirit of unity and achievements of the Commonwealth, we have an opportunity to reflect on a time like no other,” Queen Elizabeth began her pre-recorded speech on March 7. “Whilst experiences of the last year have been different across the Commonwealth, stirring examples of courage, commitment, and selfless dedication to duty have been demonstrated in every Commonwealth nation and territory, notably by those working on the frontline who have been delivering healthcare and other public services in their communities.”
“The need to maintain greater physical distance or to live and work largely in isolation, has, for many people across the Commonwealth, been an unusual experience,” she continued. “In our everyday lives, we have had to become more accustomed to connecting and communicating via innovative technology—which has been new to some of us.”
Before concluding her speech, the Queen added, “I hope we shall maintain this renewed sense of closeness and community.”
You can watch the full address, below: