In case you missed it, Beyoncé and Jay-Z pulled an incredible stunt yesterday while accepting their award for Best International Group from the Brits via a video message that was sent to the ceremony in London to play as their acceptance speech.
In the video, the Carters recreated their Apeshit music video, where they were standing in the Louvre in front of the Mona Lisa. However, instead of the famous painting, they were standing in front of a portrait of Meghan Markle.
APESHIT VS BRITS
MONA LISA VS MEGHAN MARKLE pic.twitter.com/iHhcEmaYg7
— BEYONCÉ HUB (@theyoncehub) February 20, 2019
A timely tribute
Queen B herself took to Instagram to explain the meaning behind the Duchess of Sussex’s image appearing in their acceptance video. “In honor of Black History Month, we bow down to one of our Melanated Monas. Congrats on your pregnancy! We wish you so much joy,” read part of her caption.
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Thank you to the Brits for the award for Best International Group. I won this award back in 2002 with my besties, Kelly and Michelle. How lucky am I to have been in a group with my other best friend, the GOAT Hova. ?? In honor of Black History Month, we bow down to one of our Melanated Monas. Congrats on your pregnancy! We wish you so much joy.
This was a “wow” moment, said the Deputy Music Editor at The Guardian on Twitter. “Very classy, pointed support of a black woman being treated repulsively by the UK tabloids,” she wrote.
Wow at Beyonce and Jay-Z not only making an acceptance video, but doing so in front of a portrait of Meghan Markle. Very classy, pointed support of a black woman being treated repulsively by the UK tabloids #BRITs
— Laura Snapes (@laurasnapes) February 20, 2019
Bey posted on her site about the Duchess as well, writing: “Today we’re pleased to honor Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex. Meghan’s background as a film and tv actress has allowed her to use her platform for good. Meghan’s charitable work in communities of color began years before becoming the Duchess of Sussex.”
“She became the Duchess of Sussex following her marriage to Prince Harry of the British royal family in May 2018, becoming one of the few Black women to join a royal family.”
“In honor of Black History Month, we bow down to one of our Melanated Monas. Congrats on your pregnancy! We wish you so much joy.”
We think it’s no coincidence that the album the Carters were nominated for it called Everything is Love.
That incredible portrait
If you’re wondering where the regal portrait of Markle comes from, it was created by artist and illustrator Tim O’Brien. The portrait was featured on the cover of the alumni magazine for Kappa Kappa Gamma, the sorority Meghan was a member of between 2001 and 2003 when she attended Northwestern University.
Um, did the BRIT Awards use this @KappaKappaGamma magazine cover shot of Meghan for its promo? pic.twitter.com/neWpV6W6zF
— Michelle Ruiz (@michelleruiz) February 20, 2019
According to TMZ, artist O’Brien was shocked and honored to see his piece displayed behind the Carters in the video. He reports that no one asked him for permission and he’s certain that they didn’t buy the portrait from him online (it costs $75 and is available here), but he’s willing to give them a pass.
The latest on Meghan
The Duchess of Sussex has been receiving a lot of harsh and critical press over the last several months, so much so that a group of her close friends anonymously spoke out to People magazine trying to set the record straight recently. Beyoncé’s tribute was in part to lend support to Meghan, according to some.
I love how Beyoncé in particular is very aware of what’s going on in the media and how she makes powerful statements so subtly. They knew exactly what they were doing by having Meghan Markle as Mona Lisa and I’m 1000% here for it.
— MANNY (@THECLASSICMANNY) February 20, 2019
Listen yeah, do you even UNDERSTAND how important Beyoncé’s and Jay’s statement was?They snubbed the Grammy’s yet filmed something for the Brits to honour Meghan Markle as an act of solidarity as she faces the most blatant misogynoir.
— tobí (@TobiRachel_) February 20, 2019
Over the last several days, Markle was spotted in New York where she was presumed to be attended a baby shower organized by some of her close friends, including Serena Williams, Amal Clooney and Suits co-star Abigail Spencer.
See also: Everything You Want to Know about Jennifer Lawrence’s Engagement