Even Beyoncé Was Nervous About Meeting Meghan Markle

Billy Eichner walks us through the royal jitters.

European Premiere of Disney's "The Lion King"
WPA Pool

In royal hierarchy, a queen always outranks a duchess. But roles were reversed at last week’s London premiere of The Lion King, when Queen B met Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex. During his appearance on Thursday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, Billy Eichner revealed that the film’s cast was incredibly nervous before meeting Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. And yes, that included Beyoncé.

“Prince Harry and Meghan Markle came, and Beyonce was there, and Sir Elton John was there. And I was there, randomly,” Eichner said. “And it was great, and we were all kind of nervous, even Beyonce.” When Kimmel suggested that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex should have bowed to Beyonce, Eichner agreed.”That’s true, actually. She’s our American royalty.”

Eichner, who voices Timon in Disney’s live-action remake of the beloved animated film, then shed some light on why some of Hollywood’s biggest stars were on pins and needles ahead of their royal greeting. “What makes you nervous is in the days leading up to it, they email you a protocol of how you’re supposed to greet Prince Harry and they’re very intense about it. I’m not kidding,” he explained. “You’re supposed to say, ‘Your Royal Highness.’ You can’t speak until your hands are in a handshake with his. My plus one, my guest I brought with me, my very good friend Jared, they said he had to stand behind me and not speak unless he was spoken to.”

As Eichner pointed out, that same rule did not apply for Beyoncé’s plus one, who just happened to be JAY-Z. In fact, video of their meeting surfaced last week—and the two royal couples look absolutely smitten with each other. Their mutual admiration should come as no surprise, after Beyoncé and JAY-Z gave Meghan the ultimate shout out during February’s BRIT awards.

“In honor of Black History Month, we bow down to one of our Melanated Monas,” Beyonce wrote on Instagram post while she and JAY posed in front of a portrait of Meghan. “Congrats on your pregnancy! We wish you so much joy.”

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