After publishing a cartoon depicting the UK’s Queen Elizabeth kneeling on the neck of Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, invoking the death of George Floyd, the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has sparked outrage.
The cover image cartoon was released just days after Meghan and Harry made a series of damning claims against the royal family in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, including that the couple’s brother, Archie, had his skin tone mentioned as a possible problem before he was born.
The couple refused to say who made the joke, but said it wasn’t Queen Elizabeth II or her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Meghan also discussed having suicidal thoughts on a regular basis during her pregnancy and brief period as a working royal in the interview, and the couple believed the palace had provided Meghan and Archie with insufficient security and protection.
The cartoon, published Saturday, is titled “WHY MEGHAN QUIT BUCKINGHAM,” with Meghan drawn to say: “Because I couldn’t breathe anymore!”
“The Queen as GeorgeFloyd’s murderer crushing Meghan’s neck? Meghan saying she’s unable to breathe? This doesn’t push boundaries, make anyone laugh or challenge racism. It demeans the issues & causes offence, across the board,” she said on Twitter.
Meghan and Harry’s interview ignited public debate about bias in the royal family and the media in the United Kingdom.
“We’re very much not a racist team,” Prince William told a reporter this week, denying that the royal family is racist.
Buckingham Palace said Tuesday in a statement on behalf of the Queen that the Sussexes’ accusations of prejudice were “very disturbing” and were being “taken very seriously.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s representatives and Buckingham Palace also refused to comment on the Charlie Hebdo cartoon.
The provocative cartoons and takedowns of politicians, public figures, and religious symbols are famous for the Paris-based weekly newspaper, which was created in 1970.
After the magazine released cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in 2015, brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi burst into the newsroom and gunned down staffers, killing 12 and injuring 11.
The attack on the magazine was part of a three-day series of deadly attacks in the French capital in January 2015 that killed 17 people.