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.
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.
Prince Harry has been given a job by a $1bn Silicon Valley startup which provides professional coaching, mental health advice and “immersive learning” as its chief impact officer. The Duke of Sussex said he hoped to be able to use his own experiences using the “the power of transforming pain into purpose” to help BetterUp’s clients with “proactive coaching” for personal development, as well as achieve “an all-round better life”.
A private investigator employed by the Sun has said he illegally accessed the Duchess of Sussex’s private information shortly after she met Prince Harry. Dan Hanks, who lives in Los Angeles, told the website Byline Investigates that he compiled a 90-page report on the future member of the royal family in October 2016, shortly after the tabloid newspaper first became aware of her relationship with the prince.