Queen Elizabeth reflected on the modern impact of the royal family as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal exit approaches

By Benjamin VanHoose
March 07, 2020 12:30 PM
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Queen Elizabeth is touting diversity in her latest speech.

After Meghan Markle and Prince Harry returned to the U.K. at the request of the Queen, the monarch gave a subtle nod to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in a new speech to celebrate Commonwealth Day.

Reflecting on the modern impact of the royal family, the Queen, 93, said, “On Commonwealth occasions, it is always inspiring to be reminded of the diversity of the people and countries that make up our worldwide family.”

“We are made aware of the many associations and influences that combine through Commonwealth connection, helping us to imagine and deliver a common future,” she said. “Such a blend of traditions serves to make us stronger, individually and collectively, by providing the ingredients needed for social, political and economic resilience.”

Meghan, 38, and Harry, 35, will officially step down from their royal roles on March 31, formally shedding their “Royal Highness” titles. Their final engagement is likely on Monday when they reunite with Kate Middleton and Prince William on Commonwealth Day.

Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
Victoria Jones - WPA Pool/Getty Images; Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Later in her speech, the Queen shared how modern connectivity has expanded the reach of the Commonwealth to all parts of the globe.

Throughout my life, I have had the opportunity to see and hear how membership of the Commonwealth family means so much to those living in all parts of the world, often in places that are quite remote,” she says. “Advances in technology and modern media have now enabled many more people to witness and enjoy — with remarkable immediacy — this experience of Commonwealth connection, in areas such as education, medicine and conservation.”

The royal matriarch added that this increased connectivity means “we are also aware, perhaps as never before, that wherever we live, our choices and actions affect the well-being of people and communities living far away, and in very different circumstances.”

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on Thursday
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Meghan and Harry’s 10-month-old son Archie is believed to have remained in Canada while the two are in the U.K. for their last round of engagements before stepping down from their royal roles at the end of the month.

A source previously told PEOPLE that “Archie is the priority.”

“It’s very much still about taking care of him and putting the family first,” said the insider. “He’s a happy kid — he loves to laugh. Archie and Harry have such a good time together. And Meghan is a great mom. She’s very much about tending to him. They are trying to live their life as regular parents.”

The couple was spotted out in London on Thursday for the first time since traveling back to the U.K. from Canada.