The singer paid tribute to the Duchess of Sussex at a time when her every move is vilified by the press.
Meghan Markle can’t do anything without generating headlines.
She can’t have a baby shower. She can’t eat avocado on toast. She can’t close a car door. She can’t sit on a chair. She can’t wear a one-shouldered dress, or dark nail polish, or a bra. She can’t touch her pregnant stomach. She can’t permit her staff to exercise their legal right to quit their employment. She can’t be married to someone whose hair is falling out. She can’t have knees.
There’s nothing Meghan can do that would escape the ire of the tabloid media. She’s become their latest and most fervently cherished scapegoat, victim of a darkly racist and sexist discourse, and it’s going to take a minor miracle for that to change.
Which is why Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s statement in tribute to Meghan at last night’s BRIT Awards is so powerful.
In a video speech accepting the award for Best International Group, Beyoncé and Jay-Z appeared in front of a portrait of Meghan Markle in full regalia painted by artist Tim O’Brien for the cover of Northwestern University’s Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority magazine, of which Meghan is an alumnus.
“Everything is love,” Beyoncé said in the video. 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.”
It was an impactful and meaningful tribute from one black woman to another at a time when Meghan’s every move is vilified by the media, and it resonated deeply on social media.
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 added. “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.”
Read between the lines, Meghan haters: Beyoncé is watching. Disrespect Meghan, and you’ll have Queen Bey to answer to.
And, let’s be honest, this celebration of black excellence on such a visible global stage, along with Beyoncé’s clear support of Meghan in this time of racist and sexist attacks from the media, is probably the best baby shower gift Meghan will receive.
Images: Tim O’Brien Illustration