Charlie Hebdo criticised for 'offensive' cartoon
French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has sparked outrage with a cartoon depiction of Queen Elizabeth kneeling on the neck of Meghan Markle, echoing the death of George Floyd. The controversial publication’s cartoon comes after the Duchess of Sussex, and her husband, Prince Harry, told US interviewer Oprah Winfrey of apparent racism within the royal family, though they did not criticise the Queen. But Markle said courtiers refused her permission to leave Kensington Palace on occasion and that she once only left twice in four months, leading her to experience severe loneliness and suicidal ideations.
In the cartoon, published on Saturday and titled “Why Meghan quit”, the Duchess of Sussex is depicted saying, “Because I couldn’t breathe any more”.
Halima Begum, the chief executive of the Runnymede Trust, the UK’s race equality thinktank, said that it was “wrong on every level”.
“The Queen as George Floyd’s murderer crushing Meghan’s neck?” she tweeted. “Meghan saying she’s unable to breathe? This doesn’t push boundaries, make anyone laugh or challenge racism. It demeans the issues and causes offence, across the board.”
Prince William this week defended the monarchy against accusations of racism made by the Sussexes, saying: “We’re very much not a racist family.”
The cartoon also angered some of those fond of the Queen, as she is shown in an extremely derogatory light – red-eyed, gurning, with hairy legs.
In 2015, 11 people including the top editor and some of its leading cartoonists were killed as brothers Said and Chérif Kouachi attacked the magazine’s Paris headquarters after the magazine published controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. Two days later, a friend of the brothers, Amédy Coulibaly, took hostages and killed four people at a kosher supermarket in Paris. Charlie Hebdo republished the cartoons last year.
In France, where secularism is enshrined in the republic’s constitution, the magazine is seen as an important symbol of a country not bound by religious rule. But others view Charlie Hebdo as provocative and inconsiderate of the serious issues faced by oppressed groups.
Queen Elizabeth II, wearing a black face mask and seated alone, said goodbye to her husband of more than 73 years, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, at his funeral on Saturday at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. The ceremony for Prince Philip, who died last week at age 99, was highly unusual — in part because coronavirus restrictions meant that it had to be scaled back, but also because it followed a very public airing of a family rift. Members of the royal family — Philip’s four children and some of his grandchildren — walked in a somber procession behind his coffin.
The Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex will walk apart for their grandfather’s funeral, which is likely to see the Queen sitting alone, details released by Buckingham Palace reveal. Prince William and Prince Harry, whose troubled relationship was further strained after the Sussexes’ controversial interview with Oprah Winfrey, will be separated by their cousin Peter Phillips as they walk behind the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh on Saturday.
A statement from Buckingham Palace on Friday said: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. Further announcements will made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.” He was the longest serving consort in British history, and was only months away from his 100th birthday in June.
Sharon Osbourne has left US chat show The Talk following an on-air row over Piers Morgan’s comments about the Duchess of Sussex, CBS said. Osbourne clashed with her co-hosts while defending Morgan, who left his job on Good Morning Britain following his comments about Meghan. The Talk is off air while CBS investigates the incident.