After weeks of controversy surrounding her privacy demands, the Duchess of Sussex appeared to hint that she’s been having a difficult time, when she attended The Lion King European premiere on Sunday.
Meghan, 37, met stars of the film at the event in London‘s Leicester Square alongside Prince Harry, 34, and was seen chatting with Pharrell Williams, 46, who was involved in the Disney movie’s soundtrack.
Eagle-eyed royal fan @royal_suitor shared a video of the exchange on Twitter, which showed Pharrell praising Meghan and Harry’s ‘wonderful union’ as ‘significant in today’s climate’.
The Duchess was heard responding: ‘Thank you, they don’t make it easy.’
In recent weeks, Meghan and Harry have faced criticism for insisting on keeping their son Archie’s christening completely private, and refusing to reveal the names of his godparents.
A week later, Meghan made a controversial ‘private’ appearance at Wimbledon with two friends, and caused a stir when bodyguards told fans not to take pictures of her.
Prince Harry and Meghan looked relaxed as they walked the playful yellow carpet at European premiere of The Lion King on Sunday evening
The royal couple were introduced to Pharrell Williams, who worked on the soundtrack for the live action version of the Disney film
Make like Meghan in a little black dress by Jason Wu
Jason Wu Collection mesh panel flared dress
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The Lion King European premiere received quite a turnout, with Beyonce, Elton John and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex all making an appearance.
Meghan has had a busy month so far with Archie’s christening and watching Serena Williams at Wimbledon, but this is by far her most A-list event to date.
She made a statement in a black fit and flare dress by Jason Wu for the occasion. Sitting just below the knee, the glamorous black gown is designed with a sheer neckline and sleeves and a full skirt. We love the silk-satin finish – it’s perfect for a duchess!
She’s completed the look with Nikos Koulis earrings, a pair of Aquazurra ‘Portrait of a Lady’ pumps and the ‘Broadway’ embellished clutch by Gucci. Just so she sparkled a little more in the spotlight!
Click (right) to buy her exact style, or check out the best of the rest in our edit below, including a Goat dress that Meghan owns in blush pink.
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The Duke and Duchess met the cast and crew of The Lion King during a line-up inside the Odeon in Leicester Square, including Pharrell Williams.
The exchange began with Harry laughingly admiring Pharrell’s tuxedo jacket and shorts combination, and the musician doing a jokey curtsey for the prince.
‘I love the look,’ laughed Harry, pointing to the eccentric outfit.
Royal fan Pharrell took the opportunity to praise the royal couple, telling them:’So happy for your union. Love is amazing. It’s wonderful.’
Meghan and Harry chatted with Pharrell during a meet and greet line-up of the cast and crew of The Lion King
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
Pharrell told the couple that their romance ‘in today’s climate’ was ‘so significant for so many of us’, before Meghan thanked him, admitting:’ They don’t make it easy’
He added: ‘Don’t ever take that for granted, but what it means in today’s climate, I just wanted to tell you it’s so significant for so many of us. Seriously.’
Meghan thanked the musician, saying: ‘That’s so kind of you to say.’
Pharrell continued: ‘It’s significant. I cheer you guys on.’
Reaching out to touch him on the arm, the Duchess admitted: ‘They don’t make it easy.’
Pharrell added: ‘So you understand the significance. It’s beautiful.’
Meghan and Harry chat to Pharrell Williams at The Lion King European premiere
Pharrell: Hey how you doing bro?
Harry: I love the shorts.
Pharrell: So happy for your union. Love is amazing. It’s wonderful. Don’t ever take that for granted but what it means in today’s climate. I just wanted to tell you it’s so significant for so many of us. Seriously.
Meghan: Thank you so much. That’s so nice of you to say.
Pharrell: I mean this. It’s significant. We cheer you guys on.
Meghan: Oh thank you. They don’t make it easy…
Pharrell: So you understand…
Harry: <leans in to group and whispers a joke, group laughs>
Pharrell: So you understand the significance. It’s beautiful. This is my wife right here
Meghan: Nice to meet you, thank you so much.
While the Duchess thanked Pharrell for his kind words, the musician told the couple he would be ‘cheering them on’
While they attended the European Lion King premiere, musician Pharrell Williams praised the couple and their love and told them ‘don’t ever take it for granted’
The premiere comes at the end of a difficult period for Meghan, who has faced widespread backlash over her privacy demands.
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.
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.
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
Sunday night’s event provided 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
Also in the line up were actors Billy Eichner, Seth Rogan, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Florence Kasumba.
Prince Harry and Meghan went on to speak to Billy Eichner, who revealed on Twitter after the event that he had been ‘freaking out’ about meeting the royal couple.
The actor, who plays Timone in the new Disney remake, revealed to his followers that he and Meghan had discussed their time at North Western University, and that they’d shared acting teachers.
He went on to tell his followers that the couple were ‘super down to earth and lovely’.
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
Star of The Lion King Billy Eichner tweeted that the royal couple were ‘down to earth and lovely’ after they met at the European premiere on Sunday
Billy Eichner revealed he had ‘freaked out’ about meeting the royal couple, and told his Twitter followers that he and Meghan had discussed their acting teachers at North Western University
Prince Harry and Meghan also stopped to chat to Beyoncé and Jay-Z, before greeting 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.
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 on Sunday evening from Taiwanese-Canadian designer Jason Wu
The new parents beamed as they arrived at the event in London on Sunday evening, apparently overjoyed to be making their first royal yellow carpet appearance together
Meghan and Harry clasped hands as they walked the yellow carpet together ahead of the premiere in Leicester Square on Sunday evening
‘Yours are pretty nice too,‘ interjected Bob Iger, chairman and chief executive officer of Walt Disney.
‘It’s just incredible, you’re in for a great night,’ said Sir Elton.
And it wasn’t just celebrities that Meghan seemed to have touched on Sunday night, as she met with crowds of fans while walking the yellow carpet.
In one particularly emotional moment caught on camera Meghan spoke with an excited royal fan who told her: ‘It’s really refreshing to see someone with such royalty able to do something so amazing.’
Meghan appeared touched by one royal fan while she walked the red carpet, who told her it was ‘refreshing to see someone of such royalty able to do something so amazing’
While it’s unclear exactly what the young man is referring to, the Duchess appeared to thank him sincerely and reached out to touch his arm, saying: ‘Thank you for saying that, I really appreciate it.’
After sharing the moment on Twitter, @gavinixir continued: ‘I was extremely lucky to have a conversation with Meghan about an array of things, she was extremely down to earth and a delight to speak to!’
Before they went in to watch the film, Meghan was also 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.
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 on Sunday evening
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 on Sunday night 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
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.’
Alongside the release of the film, The Walt Disney Company announced the launch of a global conversation campaign called Protect the Pride.
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 )
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 also met 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 on Sunday evening
Meghan and Harry beamed as they walked the yellow carpet hand-in-hand. The royals met 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 on Sunday 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 on Sunday 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.
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.