Charlie Hebdo Criticised for Cartoon Portraying Markle as Floyd

The magazine sparked outrage after they carried a cartoon of Queen Elizabeth kneeling on Meghan Markle’s neck.

2 min read
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

Making a reference to the death of George Floyd in the US last year, French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo sparked outrage after they carried a cartoon of Queen Elizabeth kneeling on the neck of Meghan Markle as their front page cover.

The cartoon that was published on Saturday,13 March reads, "Why Meghan left Buckingham", to which the Duchess of Sussex and the wife of Prince Harry, from underneath the Queen’s knee, replies, "because I couldn't breathe anymore”.

The cartoon mimics the incident from May last year when George Floyd, a Black American, was killed by a Minneapolis police officer. During the incident, officer Derek Chauvin, who has been charged with third degree murder, is seen pressing his knee against Floyd's neck for about nine minutes as the 46-year-old gasps for breath.

Floyd’s killing sparked a wave of Black Lives Matter protests across the United States against police brutality and racial injustice.

The cartoon comes days after the Duchess of Sussex, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, accused the British press as well as the royal family of racism. A biracial American actor, Meghan said that while she was pregnant with her son Archie, a member of the royal family had concerns about how dark his skin might be.

During the course of the interview, she also said that she had suicidal thoughts as she felt isolated and miserable as a working member of the royal family.

The Buckingham Palace later gave out a statement saying that the claims were "concerning" and would be investigated privately. Defending the monarchy against accusations of racism, Prince William, in a statement made earlier this week, said, "We're very much not a racist family".

The cartoon provoked widespread conversation on social media, with several users calling it “offensive”. Dr Halima Begum, CEO of the Runnymede Trust, a UK-based racial equality think-tank, also said the cover was "wrong on every level".

In a tweet, she wrote, "This doesn't push boundaries, make anyone laugh or challenge racism. It demeans the issues and causes offence, across the board."

Mixed Reactions from the ‘Twitter Community’

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