The Duchess of Sussex shared a hug with Beyoncé before receiving parenting advice from the superstar, as they attended the glittering European premiere of The Lion King this evening.
Meghan, 37, attended the star studded event in London’s Leicester Square with husband Prince Harry, 34, and was seen embracing Beyoncé, who declared her love for the royal couple before telling the Duchess of Sussex her new baby son Archie was ‘so beautiful’.
Harry and Meghan, who will watch the live-action remake of the classic 1990s film this evening, received parenting advice from Beyoncé and Jay-Z, with the couple telling the new parents to ‘always find time for themselves.’
Despite being on maternity leave, it is the second appearance the former Suits actress has made this weekend, after she watched close friend Serena Williams play in the Wimbledon final alongside sister-in-law Kate Middleton, 37, yesterday. It followed a tumultuous week for the Duchess after criticism of her privacy demands.
While Meghan has walked plenty of red carpets in her former days as an actress, tonight’s film premiere is her first as a royal.
The Duchess donned a stunning £3,454 mid-length black gown by designer Jason Wu for the occasion, with a sheer panel across the top of the bodice and sleeves.
The royal carried a small black satin clutch bag from Gucci costing £1,680, and finished her outfit with a pair of embellished sling back black pumps by Aquazzura, costing £640.
Meghan beamed at Beyoncé and Jay-Z as she chatted to the megastar duo at The Lion King in Leicester Square this evening. The popstar told the Duchess that she ‘loved’ the royal couple, and declared baby Archie ‘so beautiful’
Megastar Beyoncé and Duchess of Sussex leaned in close as they embraced at the premiere of The Lion King this evening
Meghan and Beyoncé shared a tight embrace as they greeted at the European premiere of The Lion King tonight before Jay-Z offered the royal couple some parenting advice
Meghan wowed in the chic black gown by designer Jason Wu, costing £3,454. It featured a sheer panel across the top part of the bodice
Harry gazed at his wife as they walked hand in hand down the yellow carpet at The Lion King European premiere this evening
Beyoncé wowed as she stepped out in a stunning gold gown for the European premiere of The Lion King, in which she stars as Nala
The premiere comes at the end of a difficult period for Meghan, who has faced widespread backlash over her privacy demands.
It comes after Meghan was branded ‘childish’ and ‘a control freak’ by former world champion Sally Jones, 64, following an appearance at Wimbledon last week, as she flaunted dress codes at the event while her security told fans not to photograph her.
The controversy came just days after Meghan and Harry faced a public backlash for insisting on keeping their son Archie’s christening completely private, and refusing to reveal the names of his godparents.
Following their glittering appearance in front of the world’s press, the Duke and Duchess met the cast and crew during a line-up inside the Odeon in Leicester Square.
Meghan and Harry paused to speak to Beyoncé and her husband Jay-Z while they met the cast ahead watching the latest Disney remake
The A-lister duo appeared overjoyed to meet the royal as they beamed while embracing, before having a quiet chat at the Lion King premiere
Inside the Odeon cinema, Meghan greeted Beyoncé warmly, the two women hugging each other like old friends.
The singer, dressed in a daring yellow evening gown split to the thigh, rubbed Meghan, in a black cocktail dress, on the back as the pair continued to embrace for several seconds.
They then held hands and chatted intently as Jay-Z looked on. There was also a big hug from the duchess for the rapper who congratulated her, presumably on the birth of baby Archie.
‘The baby, so beautiful,’ cooed Beyoncé.
Meghan and Harry shared a moment with Beyonce and Jay-Z as they greeted the A-lister couple during a meet and greet line-up at the event
Beyoncé beamed as she embraced Prince Harry, before the group shared a short chat at the European premiere of The Lion King
Jay-Z offered parenting advice to the new mother and father, telling the royal couple to make sure they made time for themselves
Prince Harry placed a hand on the small of Meghan’s back as they spoke to Beyoncé and Jay-Z at the European premiere of the film this evening
‘We love you guys.’ Meghan then turned to introduce her husband, dressed in a dashing tuxe, who greeted Beyoncé with a kiss on each cheek and Jay-Z with a handshake.
‘You’ve been rather busy,’ said Harry to Beyoncé.
‘Congratulations on the birth of your baby,’ Jay-Z said to the prince, and nodded towards Meghan.
‘Wow that’s pretty intense.’ “And how are the twins? asked the prince, in reference to her children, Rumi and Sir, born in 2017.
‘They are not here. They don’t come on every trip,’ replied Beyoncé. ‘We left them at home. They would loved to have been here.’
Stars of the film, including Beyoncé and her husband Jay-Z gathered inside the Odeon Leicester Square as they waited to meet the Duke and Duchess of Sussex
Sir Elton John appeared delighted to chat to Meghan while the royal met the stars of the film, with the two sharing a moment at the premiere
Sir Elton John appeared delighted to see the Duchess of Sussex, as the two embraced at the premiere of The Lion King. It is believed Elton sang The Circle of Life at Meghan and Harry’s wedding reception
Prince Harry and Meghan greeted US singer Pharrell William as they enjoyed a line-up at the European premiere of The Lion King
Meghan and Harry were presented with a bouquet, a book and a Simba toy for Archie by two young girls, who called the moment ‘amazing’
Musical legends! Beyonce and Elton John embraced on stage at The Lion King premiere in London tonight
Beyonce beamed as she embraced Sir Elton John, who wrote the music to the film. The musical legends appeared on stage together at the London event
‘The best advice I can give you, always find come time for yourself,’ said Jay-Z.
After stopping to chat to Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Prince Harry and Meghan went on to meet with old friends Sir Elton John and David Furnish.
Sir Eton admired Meghan’s black stilettos which had a pretty diamanté strap at the back.
‘I’m admiring your shoes,’ he said, looking down at the them, prompting a smile from Meghan.
‘Yours are pretty nice too, ‘ interjected Bob Iger, chairman and chief executive officer of Walt Disney.
A walk on the wild side! Meghan and Harry took a stroll along the yellow carpet – which had been playfully decorated with black paw prints – ahead of the premiere
The couple looked dashing as they walked the yellow carpet at the event, beaming at crowds of screaming fans
Proving you can’t go wrong with a little black dress, Meghan wowed in a stunning midi dress this evening from Taiwanese-Canadian designer Jason Wu
The new parents beamed as they arrived at the event in London this evening, apparently overjoyed to be making their first royal yellow carpet appearance together
‘It’s just incredible, you’re in for a great night,’ said Sir Elton.
The couple were also introduced to Pharrell Williams, who collaborated on the music. Harry laughingly admired his tuxedo jacket and shorts combo, and the musician did a jokey curtsey for the prince.
‘I love the look,’ laughed Harry, pointing to the eccentric outfit.
Pharrell waxed lyrical about the film. ‘It’s phenomenal, seriously. It is just amazing,’ he said.
Also in the line up were actors Billy Eichner, Seth Rogan, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Florence Kasumba.
Meghan and Harry clasped hands as they walked the yellow carpet together ahead of the premiere in Leicester Square this evening
Meghan grinned as waiting fans and crowds in Leicester Square snapped pictures while she walking the yellow carpet at the event
The royal couple beamed at crowds of fans who had gathered in Leicester Square ahead of the European premiere this evening
Before they went in to watch the film, Meghan was presented with a bouquet, a book and a Simba toy for Archie by Evie Chambers, 12, and Valentina Walker, 12, whose parents are associated with Disney.
The girls described the moment as ‘amazing’ and said Meghan had asked who their favourite characters were .
‘We said Simba and Nala,’ said Evie.
‘I told her this is for you and she seemed really delighted.’
Meghan and Harry walked hand-in-hand down the special ‘yellow’ carpet at the London premiere of The Lion King
Meghan appeared animated as she beamed at the waiting crowd at the European premiere of The Lion King remake
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle looked relaxed as they walked the yellow carpet tonight for the European premiere of The Lion King
Prince Harry and Meghan could be seen giggling with the crowd as they walked the yellow carpet
The royal couple strolled along the yellow carpet in Leicester Square hand-in-hand as they attended the premiere for The Lion King
Prince Harry looked dashing in a black suit and tie for the occasion, while Meghan donned a midi length black gown
Meghan’s stunning brown hair was slicked back into a neat chiffon bun, while she had kept her makeup look simple with a sweep of bronzer
Sir Elton John and David Furnish donned smart black suits for the evening out at the Lion King premiere. Sir Elton is said to have performed ‘Circle of Life’ at Meghan and Harry’s wedding reception
Beyonce made a leggy display at the film’s European premiere as she donned a stunning gold gown. The megastar plays Nala in the remake of the classic Disney film
The cast of the Lion King beamed as they attended the European premiere of the new Disney film (l-r Keegan-Michael Key, Florence Kasumba, Seth Rogen, Beyonce, Billy Eichner and Jon Favreau at the event in Leicester Square )
Alongside the release of the film, The Walt Disney Company announced the launch of a global conversation campaign called Protect the Pride.
It will hope to raise awareness for the dwindling population of lions across Africa, and will be supported by the Royal Foundation.
For the time being, the funds will be channelled through The Royal Foundation which the duke operates in conjunction with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex.
The royal couple will meet with representatives from organisations doing ground-breaking work in the areas of conservation and the environment.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex appeared excited as they arrived at the European premiere of The Lion King this evening
Meghan and Harry beamed as they walked the yellow carpet hand-in-hand. The royals are set to meet the cast and crew of the film before watching the movie
Prince Harry and Meghan walked the special ‘yellow’ carpet ahead of the European premiere for The Lion King in Leicester Square this evening
Stars of the film and A-list celebrities gathered in Leicester Square at the Lion King premiere and posed for photographs on the ‘yellow’ carpet (pictured left Jon Favreau and right Pharrel Williams with Helen Lasichanh
Pumba actor Seth Rogen was one of the first to grace the red carpet this evening, posing alongside his wife Lauren Miller
Strike a pose! One of the stars of the film Billy Eichner, who plays the meerkat Timone in the live action remake, donned a silver jacket for the star studded event
Sir Elton John beamed as he posed alongside husband David Furnish at The Lion King premiere
Prince Harry has taken a keen interest in African conservation projects over the years, and supports a number of wildlife and community projects.
On leaving the Army in 2015, Harry spent three months working on number of such projects in Namibia, Tanzania, South Africa and Botswana. He is also President of African Parks and Patron of Rhino Conservation Botswana.
Buckingham Palace said: ‘The Duke of Sussex has taken a deep personal interest in frontline conservation projects that work to protect Africa’s natural heritage and support both wildlife and local communities.’
Several members of the royal family have confessed to the original Disney film being a favourite.
Prince Harry has previously mentioned watching it more than 20 times, and said he is able to recite the words and songs from heart.
A difficult week for the Duchess of Sussex
The premiere marks Meghan’s second appearance of the weekend, despite technically being on maternity leave. Following her controversial appearance at Wimbledon last week, she attended the Women’s Single Final alongside sister-in-law Kate Middleton and Pippa yesterday
Tonight’s event will provide Meghan a good opportunity to portray a more positive image after recent public difficulties.
A growing backlash has faced the Duchess after she made a controversial visit to watch friend Serena Williams play at Wimbledon on Tuesday.
The royal caused a stir as her bodyguards told fans not to take pictures of her, and she flouted rules by wearing jeans in a members’ only area.
It was claimed she was attending in a ‘private capacity’, with two close friends from her Northwestern University Days, Genevieve Hills and Lindsay Roth.
Meghan has made several public appearances in the past few days, including attended Prince Harry’s charity polo match with baby Archie on Tuesday (pictured Prince Harry, Meghan and baby Archie on Tuesday)
Meanwhile, another fan who was told off by Meghan’s security team for taking a picture nearby, was actually taking a selfie and not trying to photograph the Duchess.
Additionally, club sources said she was a ‘nightmare’ to accommodate, with her casual attire and ‘self-regarding paranoia’.
An official tasked with organising the event told The Times: ‘It was a nightmare, she was a nightmare.’
The controversy came just days after Harry and Meghan faced growing backlash over their son Archie’s christening last week, which they insisted on keeping private, despite recently billing the public £2.4million to renovate Frogmore cottage.
A handful of royals fans gathered in Windsor for the event and, though excited, some suggested they have been left ‘disappointed’ that the public will not get to see any of the private ceremony or find out who has been chosen as godparents.
The royal caused a stir at Wimbledon last week as her bodyguards asked fans not to take pictures of her, and she flouted rules by wearing jeans
And he’s not the only royal to call it his ‘favourite film’, with sources saying little Prince George is also a huge fan of the animated movie.
It is also believed the film has special meaning to Harry and Meghan, who attended a West End production of the musical for one of their early dates in December 2016.
Sir Elton is also believed to have performed Circle of Life at the royal couple’s wedding reception at Windsor Castle in May 2018.
The premiere saw Meghan come face-to-face with Beyoncé, who stars as Nala in the Disney remake.
Beyoncé and husband Jay-Z have paid homage to Meghan on several occasions, including their BRIT awards acceptance speech in February of this year
Beyoncé honoured Meghan at the BRIT Awards in February, and shared a tribute to her on her website during Black History Month.
As part of her message, 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.’
Meghan’s make-up artist Daniel Martin said the duchess had seen the Brit awards painting and sent him big eye emojis in response.
Harry and Meghan are taking baby Archie to South Africa in the autumn, and the duke will go on to carry out solo visits to Angola, Malawi and Botswana.