The Duke and Duchess of Sussex enjoyed a star-studded night out without baby Archie as they attend the European Premiere of Disney’s The Lion King.
Arriving in London’s Leicester Square, the couple were met with shrieks of excitement by fans and introduced to some of the stars who have provided voices for the animal cast including legendary singer, Beyonce Knowles, who voices Nala in the film.
The star – accompanied by her husband, rapper Jay-Z – had been due to walk the yellow carpet, appropriately spotted with paw-prints, before the royal guests.
While they have not met before, Beyonce payed homage to Meghan earlier this year at the BRIT awards.
She and Jay-Z, were given the award for Best International Group, and sent a video message acceptance speech featuring a portrait of the duchess in the guise of the Mona Lisa with a crown on her head, by illustrator Tim O’Brien.
They later explained the stunt on Instagram saying: “In honour of Black History Month, we bow down to one of our Melanated Monas.
Congrats on your pregnancy! We wish you so much joy.” The phrase ‘Melanated Monas’ was a reference to the Duchess of Sussex’s biracial heritage.
Inside the Odeon cinema, the Duchess greeted Beyonce warmly.
“The baby, so beautiful,” cooed Beyonce, adding: “We love you guys.”
“Congratulations on the birth of your baby,” Jay-Z said to the prince, and nodded towards Meghan.
“The best advice I can give you, always find come time for yourself,” said Jay-Z.
The Premiere is being held in support of the conservation and communities work undertaken by Prince Harry through his new charitable 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 he Duchess of Sussex.
In celebration of the hugely-anticipated film’s release, The Walt Disney Company have announced Protect the Pride, a global conservation campaign working with conservation partners to raise awareness and support efforts to protect and recover the dwindling lion population across Africa.
Since The Lion King was first released 25 years ago, half of Africa’s lions have disappeared.
Lions face rising threats, such as poaching, loss of prey and destruction of habitats, however, research shows the lion population can recover.
The Royal Foundation is supporting the Protect the Pride campaign, alongside partners including the Wildlife Conservation Network’s Lion Recovery Fund, to find sustainable solutions that benefit people, communities and wildlife across Africa.
Prince Harry has long had an interest in conservation issues on the African continent and on leaving the Army in 2015, spent three months working on number of such projects in Namibia, Tanzania, South Africa and Botswana.
He is now President of African Parks and Patron of Rhino Conservation Botswana.
The duke, his wife and their son will undertake an official visit to South Africa this Autumn at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The Duke will also visit Angola and Malawi at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and undertake a working visit to Botswana whilst in the region.
After tonight’s film the royal couple will meet representatives from organisations doing ground-breaking work in the areas of conservation and the environment.
They also met a host of other cast members and stars including Sir Elton John, accompanied by his husband, David Furnish, who wrote the original score.
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.”