Beyoncé and Jay Z Used Meghan Markle’s Portrait as the Backdrop of Their Brit Awards Speech

Move over Mona Lisa.


To the public’s knowledge, Beyoncé and Jay Z have yet to come into contact with Meghan Markle. But that doesn’t mean there is any less love between them. The Carters gave their stamp of approval to the Duchess of Sussex in a surprising way when they made a cameo at the 2019 Brit Awards. Well, technically the awards show only featured a video of them, as they weren’t in attendance. But when the video played, Markle was at the center of it.

After the Carters were announced as the winner for best international group, Beyoncé and Jay Z gave their thanks in a prerecorded video message that was shot in front of a portrait of Markle. The clip plays like a riff on their “Apes**t” video, from Jay Z wearing a double-breasted blazer and Beyoncé wearing a vibrant suit blazer without a shirt like they both did in the original to the way the camera pans out on them standing still in front of the portrait—in place of the Mona Lisa—while their Everything Is Love standout plays. In the portrait, Markle isn’t just a glowing royal; she looks to be an actual queen, which is quite the compliment from one queen to another.

In their speech, Bey and Jay didn’t acknowledge the painting, which made it all the more surreal. Instead, they gave a rather boilerplate speech, with Bey saying, “Thank you so much to the Brit Awards for this incredible honor. You guys have always been so supportive. Everything is love. Thank you,” to which Jay jokingly added, “You’re welcome.” The pair then turn their backs to the camera and face the portrait of Markle. All the while, in the background, you can hear what is most likely Blue Ivy’s voice.

The painting of Markle has a surprising origin. It was created by the artist Tim O’Brien for the alumni magazine of Markle’s former sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma. O’Brien acknowledged on Twitter that his painting has now been immortalized by the Carters, writing, “Interesting to see my painting of Megan [sic] Markle behind @Beyonce and JZ for their Brit award. Congratulations to them both.”

Later on Instagram, Beyoncé explained why they chose to use the painting as a backdrop, writing, “Thank you to the Brits for the award for Best International Group. I won this award back in 2002 with my besties, Kelly and Michelle. How lucky am I to have been in a group with my other best friend, the GOAT Hova. ?? In honor of Black History Month, we bow down to one of our Melanated Monas. Congrats on your pregnancy! We wish you so much joy.”

Hopefully, for both parties (and their voracious fans), this culminates in a real-life meeting.