Update: The portrait of Markle was a throwback to her Kappa Kappa Gamma days, and is by artist Tim O'Brian. You can buy the print (for just $75) below.
Original post: The only queen who can hold a candle to Beyoncé? Meghan Markle, ladies and gentleman. Nobody knows this better than Beyoncé herself, who accepted a Brit Award on Wednesday night in a video filmed in front of what appeared to be a custom portrait of Meghan Markle as the British queen. It wasn't subtle. It was incredible. (Also, does it hang in their house? I need answers!)
That Beyoncé and Jay Z filmed their acceptance video in front of this portrait isn't an accident, obviously. The entire video background is white aside from the Markle portrait, and Beyoncé and Jay Z are both wearing outfits that resemble their outfits in their "Apeshit" video, which dropped last fall. Jay Z even appears to be wearing the exact same turquoise suit. But in the Brit Award acceptance video, instead of a portrait of the Mona Lisa—which appears in the video for "Apeshit"—the portrait of Queen Meghan Markle hangs instead.
Here's a still of "Apeshit":
And here's a still from their Brit Awards acceptance speech. See what I mean?
Here's the full acceptance speech:
Well played @Beyonce & @S_C_ 😂Watch The #BRITs 2019 live here: https://t.co/qj4KiENtGs pic.twitter.com/rGnmq0RUlrFebruary 20, 2019
Meghan Markle is already having a fantastic week—she's back Stateside and celebrating her upcoming baby with a handful of her closest friends—but is this the best moment of her life? Maybe? I mean, her wedding was great and all, but a custom portrait of her is possibly hanging in Beyoncé's house? Dead. I'm dead.
The acceptance video zooms in tight on the Meghan Markle portrait—not subtle, right?—before Beyoncé says: "Thank you so much for the Brit Awards for this incredible honor. You guys have always been so supportive. Everything is love. Thank you." Jay Z responds: "You're welcome," before both of them turn around to face Queen Meghan Markle. And then a baby in the background cries out, "Why?" (Is that deliberate? Nothing these two is by accident, so I guess so?!)
Some observers on Twitter suspect that this is a nod to the British press, which last year was publicly rebuked by the palace for publishing stories with "racial undertones" about the now-Duchess. (This is a particularly dramatic statement coming from Kensington Palace, which rarely, if ever, comments on media coverage of the royals.)
Beyonce and Jay-Z just killed it with this Meghan Markle portrait during their #BRITS2019 acceptance speech OMG 😭😭😭. High key FU to the racist British press. ❤️ them. pic.twitter.com/g8OV9mRreUFebruary 20, 2019
Though it's not clear if the Carters have ever met Meghan Markle, the two do share a mutual friend—Serena Williams, who appeared in Beyoncé's "Lemonade" visual album and is a longtime close friend of Markle's, even making an appearance (and helping foot the bill) at Markle's baby shower this past week.
Another important question: Are there prints available of this custom Meghan Markle portrait? Where can I get one?
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Jenny is the Digital Director at Marie Claire. Originally from London, she moved to New York in 2012 to attend the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and never left. Prior to Marie Claire, she spent five years at Bustle building out its news and politics coverage. She loves, in order: her dog, goldfish crackers, and arguing about why umbrellas are fundamentally useless. Her first novel, EVERYONE WHO CAN FORGIVE ME IS DEAD, will be published by Minotaur Books on February 6, 2024.
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