Magazine cover showing Queen Elizabeth II kneeling on Meghan’s neck sparks outrage

French magazine Charlie Hebdo caused outrage on social media on Saturday over its front-page drawing of Queen Elizabeth II kneeling on the neck of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

A caption on the drawing translates to “Why Meghan left Buckingham”. A quote bubble near Meghan’s head reads ‘because I couldn’t breathe’.

In the photo, shared on the magazine‘s Twitter account, a menacing-looking Queen Elizabeth II pins Meghan with her knee. The image is a cartoon reenactment of the death of George Floyd when a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest on May 25.

Derek Chauvin has been fired from the Minneapolis Police Department and will soon be on trial for murder and manslaughter. Three other former officers involved in the arrest are expected to stand trial in August.

Social media users slammed Charlie Hebdo over the cartoon, with some calling it racist.

“Words cannot describe how disgusting I found that cover of Charlie Hebdo. Constantly hitting and drawing racist cartoons is not satire. It’s called being a d- –” wrote one Twitter user.

“Charlie Hebdo is a disgusting newspaper that promotes racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and sexism. For years it has made fun of many serious social issues that exist in the world, while making millions of dollars” , posted another.

One user said the cover was “absolutely disgusting”.

A few people, however, seemed to defend the post. One person wrote that the magazine describes itself as a satirical publication and is known for its offensive covers.

“Anyone with a brain knows that ALL @Charlie_Hebdo_ covers are *intentionally* provocative. That’s their raison d’être. It’s called satire,” the tweet read.

Charlie Hebdo did not publicly respond to the criticism and did not immediately return a request for comment on Saturday.

The drawing comes nearly a week after Prince Harry and Meghan sat down with Oprah Winfrey for a bombshell interview detailing their reasons for leaving royal life.

Among the issues, Meghan said royal insiders had expressed “concerns” about the blackness of the couple’s children. Meghan and Prince Harry welcomed their first child together, Archie, in May 2019, and are expecting their second baby this summer.

The couple declined to name the person who made the alleged comments, but Winfrey later said Harry made it clear it was neither Queen Elizabeth II, her grandmother, nor her husband Prince Philip.

Prince William has denied the allegations against the Royal Family, saying: “We really are not a racist family.”

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