On Wednesday, Beyoncé and Jay-Z won the award for best international group at the Brit Awards. Although they were not in attendance, the couple accepted via a video message in which they paid tribute to Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex. Recreating a scene from their “Apesh**t” music video, when they pose in front of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa,” Bey and Jay replaced the famous painting with one of Markle wearing a crown a la Queen Victoria.
"Thank you so much to the Brit Awards for this incredible honor," Beyoncé says in the video. "You guys have always been so supportive. Everything is love. Thank you."
To that the rapper replies, “You’re welcome,” and then they turn to admire the portrait.
Beyoncé later posted a series of photos to her Instagram account, writing in caption of one post: “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.”
Throughout February, Beyoncé has been highlighting cultural figures on her website in honor of Black History Month. Yesterday, she honored Markle on the site, praising her charitable work in communities of color, which she began long before joining the royal family. She wrote of her work at World Vision and her support of the Myna Mahila Foundation in Mumbai.
Beyoncé also applauded the Duchess for furthering the race relations dialogue. "She became the Duchess of Sussex following her marriage to Prince Harry of the British royal family in May 2018, becoming one of the few Black women to join a royal family,” she wrote. “Meghan brought many Black traditions to her Royal Wedding including a Chicago-based Black pastor, an amazing gospel choir, and a young Black cellist. At the wedding her culture was front and center, and she and Prince Harry have continued to push the race relations dialogue forward both near and far.”
This tribute comes as Markle faces increasing scrutiny from the press and public. In the nine months since she married Prince Harry, the Duchess has subjected to an onslaught of hostile stories, calling her demanding and difficult, as well as racist commentary. Sources close to her have since spoken out against what they say is the "bullying" she has endured since entering royal life.