The Lion King premiere in London saw two powerful women embrace each other, which proved to be too much for some tabloids.
When Meghan Markle embraced Beyoncé Knowles-Carter at The Lion King premier in London on Sunday night (14 July), the internet went wild for the Duchess meeting the Queen.
With both women continuing to represent and inspire women of colour around the world - Beyoncé was the first black woman to headline Coachella and Meghan is an ambassador for various charities that support women - most people couldn’t contain their excitement over the royal moment.
But, as we know by now, Meghan can’t attend an engagement without meeting some criticism. And, because the idea of two powerful women meeting is just too much for some, Beyoncé didn’t fully escape negative headlines either. According to some tabloids, Beyonce tried to “upstage” Meghan.
“Beyoncé upstages Meghan Markle as body language confirms who’s the real queen bee,” wrote one British tabloid. “Meghan Markle ‘upstaged’ by Beyoncé as singer ‘breaks protocol’ to greet Duchess of Sussex,” read another. “When Beyoncé and her hubby did arrive, they ‘completely upstaged’ the royals,” reported an American entertainment website.
Apparently, Beyoncé and her husband Jay-Z asserted their power by arriving at the premiere after Meghan and Prince Harry arrived. Then, when they did meet, Beyoncé “broke royal protocol” by hugging Meghan to “manoeuvre herself in a more dominant position”.
Funnily enough, there’s zero reporting on the body language between Prince Harry and Jay-Z, who are also pretty famous – and royal – in their own right.
We only need to look to the reaction on Twitter to understand the truth of the pair meeting each other for the first time.
According to royal correspondent Rebecca English, they chatted about… parenting! “The baby, so beautiful, we love you guys,” Beyoncé was heard saying, before Meghan asked about her twins. This doesn’t exactly sound like the conversation between two people trying to “dominate” the situation.
Also, we cannot forget the golden moment when Beyoncé praised Meghan in her BRIT Awards video last year.
“Everything is love,” Beyoncé said in the video while standing in front of a regal portrait of Meghan. Later, in an Instagram caption, she added: “In honour of Black History Month, we bow down to one of our Melanated Monas. Congrats on your pregnancy! We wish you so much joy.”
Writing on her website, Beyoncé added: “Today we’re pleased to honour Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex.”
“Meghan’s background as a film and TV actress has allowed her to use her platform for good,” Beyoncé continued. “Meghan’s charitable work in communities of colour began years before becoming the Duchess of Sussex. At the wedding her culture was front and centre, and she and Prince Harry have continued to push the race relations dialogue forward both near and far.”
The significance of Meghan and Harry’s appearance at The Lion King premiere was later revealed, as their Instagram channel announced that Disney has made a donation to their upcoming environment and community initiative in Africa.
“The Duke and Duchess are committed to advancing conservation efforts across Africa and around the world, and working with communities to ensure a sustainable future for the planet,” it read.
The idea of anyone trying to “upstage” each other at such a positive and empowering event would be laughable if it wasn’t so infuriatingly targeted at just the female guests.