Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan will co-chair a fundraising concert urging more vaccinations that will air on May 8, event organizers have announced, as Queen Elizabeth II returned to royal duties following the funeral of her husband Philip.
President Joe Biden, first lady Jill Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris will also appear at Vax Live: The Concert To Reunite The World, where performers will include Jennifer Lopez, Eddie Vedder, J Balvin and HER.
Put on by Global Citizen, an international advocacy organization, the campaign is pushing businesses to “donate dollars for doses”, and for G7 governments to share excess vaccines.
It also urges pharmaceutical companies “including Moderna to make vaccines available at not-for-profit prices”.
The concert will be pre-taped on May 2 in Los Angeles, and will stream on YouTube along with American television networks ABC and CBS on May 8 at 8:00pm ET.
It will also air internationally on Brazil’s Globo, Colombia’s Caracol, SABC in South Africa and MultiChoice in Africa.
French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will also appear at the event, whose audience will comprise of fully vaccinated frontline and essential workers.
“Over the past year, our world has experienced pain, loss, and struggle — together. Now we need to recover and heal — together,” Harry and Meghan said in a statement.
“We can’t leave anybody behind. We will all benefit, we will all be safer when everyone everywhere has equal access to the vaccine.
“We must pursue equitable vaccine distribution, and in that, restore faith in our common humanity. This mission couldn’t be more critical or important.”
Last year Global Citizen partnered with the World Health Organisation to put on a virtual concert packed with A-listers like The Rolling Stones and Taylor Swift, to celebrate health workers and fundraise for the battle against COVID-19.
Queen Elizabeth returns to public tasks
On Tuesday, Queen Elizabeth II held her first video meetings since the funeral of her husband, Prince Philip, pressing on with royal duties as she formally accepted the credentials of new ambassadors from the Ivory Coast and Latvia.
The monarch, 95, held the virtual audiences from Windsor Castle, where she has lived during the COVID-19 pandemic, while the ambassadors were 32 kilometres away at Buckingham Palace in central London.
The queen, who ended a two-week period of royal mourning on Friday, wore a floral dress and pearls for the occasion.
Videos from the events were the first released for public view since Philip’s funeral on April 17 at St George’s Chapel in Windsor.
Strict social distancing rules forced the queen to sit alone during the service, a spectacle that touched many who had also suffered bereavement in the pandemic.
But as expected, she is now back at work, and in the public eye.
The week before the funeral, the queen attended the retirement of her Lord Chamberlain, who organises all ceremonial events for the palace, and welcomed his replacement. Neither event was photographed.
The queen celebrated her birthday last week, using the occasion to express her gratitude for all the well-wishers who offered tributes to Philip, her husband of 73 years.
The royal family was in a “period of great sadness”, but drew comfort from words of praise for the duke, she said.
News source: ABC