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The QueenThe Sussexes

Charlie Hebdo under fire for offensive cartoon depicting The Queen and Duchess of Sussex

Queen Elizabeth II
i-Images/Pool

French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo is under fire for an offensive cartoon featuring The Queen and the Duchess of Sussex. The cartoon has been called racist by many in France, the UK and the US.

It likens Queen Elizabeth as Officer Derek Chauvin with her knee on the Duchess of Sussex’s neck. The Duchess is compared to George Floyd, who was killed by Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin last year when he knelt on his neck during an arrest. Floyd yelled, “I can’t breathe,” but the officer did not take his knee off Floyd’s neck for nine minutes.

The French cartoon says: “Why Meghan left Buckingham,” and has the Duchess saying: “Because I couldn’t breathe anymore.”

Chauvin was charged with Floyd’s murder and his trial began in Minnesota on Monday.

On Twitter, the chief executive of the race equality thinktank, the Runnymede Trust, Halima Begum, slammed the cartoon’s publication: The Queen as George Floyd’s murderer crushing Meghan’s neck? 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.”

The publishing of the cartoon comes after the Duchess of Sussex revealed the racist experiences she had since marrying Prince Harry during an interview with Oprah last Sunday. During that interview, she said that a member of the Royal Family was concerned with how dark her and Harry’s son, Archie’s skin would be.

Neither she nor Harry would reveal who made the remarks, but Oprah said the following day that it was not The Queen or Duke of Edinburgh who made the statement.

Harry’s brother, the Duke of Cambridge, was asked this week if the Royal Family was racist to which he replied: “We are very much not a racist family.”

Charlie Hebdo is no stranger to controversy. The magazine has published several cartoons in the past that were deemed controversial or offensive. After publishing a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed in 2015, terrorists attacked the Paris headquarters of the magazine killing 11.

About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. Her love of royals began in middle school, and she's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites including Global News Canada, ABC News Australia, WION India and BBC World News.