Just when you thought Jay-Z and Beyonce not being at the BRITs would be a buzz kill, the duo proved why they're most the iconic double act in showbiz maybe ... ever? In accepting their award for International Group, the pair recreated the scene in their "APES**T" music video where they stand in front of the Mona Lisa painting, only there was a twist. Instead, the pair stood in front of a portrait of the Duchess of Sussex. Yes, you better believe it, because Beyonce and Jay Z's Meghan Markle BRITs 2019 shoutout is all you're going to be reading about for the next 24 hours.
So, let's recap. First of all, Beyonce and Jay-Z were eligible for the group award as The Carters, which is the name under which they released their 2018 album Everything Is Love. The pair weren't at the ceremony, like Drake and Ariana Grande (sob), hut instead they sent a video message. So far, so routine. Only there was a special surprise. Recreating the Mona Lisa pose in the official BRITs tweet below, the pair instead stood in front of a portrait of a regal looking Markle. As Elizabeth Holmes pointed out on her Instagram stories, the picture was first created by Markle's sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, for the summer 2018 issue of their magazine, The Key.
Here's a video of the golden moment.
Speaking to camera, Beyonce said:
"Thank you so much to the BRIT awards for this incredible honour. You guys have always been so supportive. Everything is Love. Thank you."
"You're welcome," Jay-Z then replied, while the pair turned round to gaze upon Markle's presence. In the background, a child's voice could be heard asking "WHY." Twitter was here with some theories about that part (was it Blue Ivy, or maybe twins Rumi or Sir?), and needless to say, fans around the world were absolutely HERE for it.
Unsurprisingly, plenty of people on Twitter were reading it as a reference to the treatment Markle has suffered at the hands of certain corners of the media.
The development comes during a period of increasing and necessary scrutiny regarding Markle's treatment since she married Prince Harry in May 2018. Just last week, George Clooney — who attended the ceremony together with his wife, human rights lawyer Amal Clooney — spoke out on the treatment of Markle. In an interview with Australian publication Who Magazine, Clooney said:
"She’s a woman who is seven months pregnant, and she has been pursued and vilified and chased in the same way that Diana was and its history repeating itself."
He additionally spoke out on the publishing of a private letter Markle sent to her father.
"I can’t tell you how frustrating that is, just seeing them broadcast a letter from a daughter to a father, she’s getting a raw deal there and I think it’s irresponsible and I’m surprised by that."
While we may never know exactly what the Carters intended with their Meghan Markle reference, there's no denying it seems like a gesture of support, and I'm very here for it. Separately, please can we send a petition to Beyonce and Jay-Z to have that portrait to live in the National Portrait Gallery?
UPDATE: Beyonce later added an Instagram post after the awards, referencing the portrait.
"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."