Magazine cover showing Queen Elizabeth II kneeling on Meghan’s neck sparks outrage


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French magazine Charlie Hebdo sparked outrage on social media on Saturday over its front page drawing of Queen Elizabeth II kneeling on the neck of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

A caption on the drawing reads “Why Meghan Left Buckingham”. A quote bubble near Meghan’s head reads: “Because I couldn’t breathe”.

In the photo, shared on the magazine’s Twitter account, a threatening-looking Queen Elizabeth II wedges Meghan with her knee. The image is a comic book recreation of the death of George Floyd when a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes during a May 25 arrest.

Derek Chauvin has been fired from the Minneapolis Police Department and will soon be on trial for murder and manslaughter. Three other former officers involved in the arrest are expected to stand trial in August.

Social media users criticized Charlie Hebdo for the cartoon, with some calling it racist.

“Words cannot describe how disgusting I found this Charlie Hebdo cover. Hitting and constantly drawing racist caricatures is not satire. It’s called being a d —“, wrote a Twitter user.

“Charlie Hebdo is a disgusting newspaper that promotes racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and sexism. For years it has poked fun at many serious social issues that exist in the world, while earning millions of dollars.” , said another.

One user said the cover was “absolutely disgusting”.

A few people, however, appeared to be defending the post. One person wrote that the magazine describes itself as a satirical publication and is known for its offensive covers.

“Anyone with a brain knows that ALL of @Charlie_Hebdo_’s covers are * intentionally * provocative. That’s their reason for being. It’s called satire,” the tweet read.

Charlie Hebdo did not respond publicly to criticism and did not immediately return a request for comment on Saturday.

The drawing comes nearly a week after Prince Harry and Meghan sat down with Oprah Winfrey for an explosive interview detailing their reasons for leaving royal life.

Among the issues, Meghan said royal insiders had expressed “concerns” over the blackness of the couple’s children. Meghan and Prince Harry welcomed their first child together, Archie, in May 2019, and are expecting their second baby this summer.

The couple declined to name the person who made the alleged comments, but Winfrey later said that Harry made it clear that it was neither Queen Elizabeth II, nor his grandmother, nor her husband, Prince Philip.

Prince William has denied the allegations against the royal family, saying: “We are really not a racist family.”

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Amanda P. Whitten

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