Beyoncé And Meghan Markle: Inside An A-List Friendship

Beyoncé has thanked Meghan for her bravery in speaking out. Take a look at their friendship...

Meghan Markle and Beyonce

by Grazia |

As A-List friendships go, the combination of Beyoncé and the Duchess of Sussex is about as major as they get. When Meghan walked up to the singer during the line-up at the London premiere of The Lion King in 2019, the pair hit it off immediately as Beyoncé greeted the duchess with the words ‘Hello, my princess.’

Now, this relationship has been galvanised. Beyoncé has commented on this week's controversial Meghan interview, applauding the Duchess for her 'courage and leadership.'

Beyonce and Meghan
©Beyonce

The brief exchange that brought them together almost two years ago was no accident; it marked the culmination of a long process to orchestrate a meeting. It’s no surprise that the two would want to meet. Meghan had been a fan of the singer for years – she used to post tributes on her now-deleted Instagram account – and has long thought of her as a dream dinner guest. But things moved up a notch in February of 2019, when Beyoncé recorded an acceptance speech for the BRIT Awards that featured a painting of Meghan wearing a crown.

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Making a surprise appearance at the British Fashion Awards calls for a pretty spectacular outfit. Enter this timeless number, which has since set the bar high for one-shoulder gowns.

It is no mean feat to forge a friendship with such a woman: socialising with the most successful and wealthy couple in the music industry involves jumping through plenty of hoops, even when you’re a member of the royal family. In royal circles, introductions to people of interest are often made formally, with aides reaching out to vet individuals before setting up meetings. But Meghan, a source tells Grazia, does things differently. ‘She took things into her own hands with Beyoncé,’ they explain. ‘Much like her friendships with Amal and George Clooney, or Jacinda Ardern [Prime Minister of New Zealand], the initial communications were made without the involvement or knowledge of the royal team. They get involved later, when the logistics need to be discussed.’ In that way, the insider points out Meghan is similar to the late Princess of Wales. ‘Diana would never have wasted time sending endless memos to people’s teams. She always preferred the personal touch, and Meghan’s very much on that same page.'

Nevertheless, Meghan is aware of how her friendships with the A-list can appear to the public, especially after the backlash following her ‘private’ appearance at Wimbledon, where she was alleged to have asked not to be photographed. The collaboration between the Royal Foundation and the Protect The Pride campaign (a conservation campaign set up by Disney to raise awareness of the crisis facing lions and other wildlife across Africa) was seen as a worthy collaboration that more than justified the meeting.

Now that two of the world’s most famous women have entered each other’s orbits, Meghan will be keen to sustain links. But being friends with Beyoncé takes more than a meeting at a premiere. Grazia understands that an invitation to her home is almost as difficult to get hold of as one to the Palace. All new acquaintances are first vetted by security, and Jay-Z often meets with them first to ensure that they won’t be too excitable in Beyoncé’s presence. Selfies and use of any social media is not allowed – a source says, ‘She hates to see phones out in her presence’ – and both she and Jay keep screen time to a minimum.

For Beyoncé, privacy and discretion is key. She does not like her friends to discuss her, her family or her work in the media. Last year, former Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams was asked to spill a titbit about Beyoncé’s forthcoming new music, but remained silent, live on camera. Once you’re in the fold, though, you will be privy to incredible experiences. Entire restaurants, shops and even theme parks have been shut down so that Beyoncé can enjoy her privacy, and some of her famous friends – including Lady Gaga and Gwyneth Paltrow – have paid tribute to her generosity and kindness.

Now that Meghan is firmly on Beyoncé’s radar, though, and in the same state, she would be advised not to overdo it on the personal communication. ‘You don’t text Beyoncé,’ the insider says. ‘Her people will reach out to your people.’ Is this the beginning of a beautiful friendship? The pair’s packed schedules, travel commitments and young children means we’re unlikely to spot them checking in for a spa day anytime soon. But one thing is undeniable: Meghan has gained a crucial ally in her journey towards global influence.

READ MORE: Here's A Reminder Of Why We Love Beyoncé So Much

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