‘Charlie Hebdo’ cover shows the Queen kneeling on Meghan Markle’s neck

'Why Meghan left Buckingham. Because I could no longer breathe,' read the Charlie Hebdo cover

French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has angered people for its depiction of Queen Elizabeth II kneeling on the neck of Meghan Markle, alluding to the death of George Floyd.

The French text on the cover reads: “Why Meghan left Buckingham. Because I could no longer breathe.”


Floyd, 46, died on May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis after officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck outside a convenience store for eight minutes and 46 seconds, sparking nationwide protests against police brutality and racial discrimination. Floyd cried ‘I can’t breathe,” during the incident and the words became a rallying cry for protestors.

CBS News reported that the Minneapolis City Council approved a historic $27 million civil settlement for the Floyd family. Chauvin is currently standing trial for murder and manslaughter.

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Charlie Hebdo, known for its history of controversial drawings, has faced much scrutiny from the public in the past. The newest cover comes after the highly anticipated CBS interview with Prince Harry and Markle which aired last Sunday. The couple spoke with Oprah Winfrey about the racism they’ve experienced within the royal family.

During the interview, the couple shared that a member of Harry’s family expressed concern for how dark their unborn son’s skin would be in “several conversations,” but they wouldn’t share who said it as it would be “damaging” to the individual.

“It was only once we were married and everything started to really worsen that I came to understand that not only was I not being protected but that they were willing to lie to protect other members of the family but they weren’t willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband,” Markle told Winfrey.

Queen Elizabeth II sits with Meghan, Duchess of Sussex during a ceremony to open the new Mersey Gateway Bridge on June 14, 2018 in the town of Widnes in Halton, Cheshire, England. Meghan Markle married Prince Harry last month to become The Duchess of Sussex and this is her first engagement with the Queen. During the visit the pair will open a road bridge in Widnes and visit The Storyhouse and Town Hall in Chester. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Markle recalled her first public outing with Queen Elizabeth. She said the Queen invited her and gave her with a present. Markle said she “really loved being in her company” and that “the Queen has always been wonderful to me.”

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The Daily Mail reported that Charlie Hebdo is published from a secret headquarters located in Paris with the protection of guards.

Dr. Halima Begum, CEO of Runnymede, a UK independent race equality think tank, criticized the magazine for its depiction on Twitter.

“#CharlieHebdo, this is wrong on every level. The Queen as #GeorgeFloyd’s murderer crushing Meghan’s neck? Meghan says she’s unable to breathe? This doesn’t push boundaries, make anyone laugh or challenge racism. It demeans the issues and causes offense across the board,” Begum said.

This then led to an exchange with Matt Kilcoyne of the Adam Smith Institute who said the magazine “has more than earned the right to say what it likes in the way it likes, and through the blood of their staff remains the rights of ourselves to freely criticize them in return. But not to shut them down or shut them up. If you don’t like it, don’t RT it.”

Law professor and author Khaled Beydoun tweeted, “Charlie Hedbo has built a brand capitalizing on Islamophobia and racism. The two very items it minimizes in print, ironically.”

Film and TV producer Franklin Leonard shared a gif of LeBron James exiting to express his shock, saying, “When you check why Charlie Hedbo is trending…”

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