Newsbeat

Brit Awards 2019: Beyonce and Jay-Z 'bow down' to Meghan Markle

Image of Beyonce and Jay-Z in front of a portrait of Meghan Markle Image copyright Beyonce/Instagram

Beyonce and Jay-Z posed in front of a portrait of the Duchess of Sussex wearing a crown as they accepted the Brit for best international group.

Writing on Instagram, Beyonce said: "In honour of Black History Month, we bow down to one of our Melanated Monas."

That's a reference to their video for Ape**** in which they stood in front of the Mona Lisa at the Louvre in Paris.

But for their Brits acceptance, the couple restaged that video next to a portrait of Meghan Markle.

Beyonce added: "Congrats on your pregnancy! We wish you so much joy."

The Guardian newspaper's deputy music editor Laura Snapes said their decision to accept the award in front of a portrait of Meghan was a "wow" moment.

"Very classy, pointed support of a black woman being treated repulsively by the UK tabloids," she wrote on Twitter.

Other people also suggested Beyonce and Jay-Z's video was a message to the media and a statement of support for Meghan.

'They didn't ask to use it, they just did'

The artist who painted the picture, Tim O'Brien, told Radio 1 Newsbeat that Meghan is "changing the face of England in a very direct way" and she's a symbol that "white supremacy is over around the globe".

But he tells us that he found out Beyonce and Jay Z had used his illustration of Meghan at the same time as everyone else.

"I was not contacted. I learned about it on social media. It's been an interesting 24 hours," the Brooklyn-based illustrator says.

The illustration was originally commissioned in 2018 for a magazine called The Key, published by Meghan Markle's old college sorority.

Image copyright Tim O'Brien
Image caption Tim O'Brien has previously gained attention for his Donald Trump Time magazine covers and for creating the artwork for The Hunger Games films

And Tim says he's "not sure" if he'll be asking the Brit award-winning couple for any money for their use of his image.

"My initial reaction was that I didn't see any benefit from what they did," he says.

"But I've been selling prints of it on my website for a while now, and those spiked yesterday. So overall I've fared well."

He adds that the original is still on sale, if Beyonce and Jay-Z are in the market for something new to hang over one of their fireplaces.

The duchess, who married Prince Harry last year, has been the subject of many headlines this year.

Some people have accused parts of the media of being negative about Meghan - who is around seven months pregnant.

Accepting the award, Beyonce thanked the Brits saying they've always been "very supportive".

"Everything is love, Thank you."

Jay-Z then replies "You're welcome" before the couple turn around to face the painting of Meghan.

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