The cast of The Lion King might be comprised of some of Hollywood’s biggest names, but that doesn’t mean they are exempt from royal protocol rules. Ahead of their encounter with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Sunday, the stars of the Disney live-action flick—which include Beyoncé, Seth Rogen, Pharrell Williams, and more—were given rules to follow when meeting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
The Lion King cast (from left to right: Keegan-Michael Key, Florence Kasumba, Seth Rogen, Beyoncé, Billy Eichner and Jon Favreau) was given royal protocol rules ahead of meeting Meghan and Harry
“You’re given a lot of protocol to follow which is unusual,” Seth said during an appearance on the UK’s This Morning. “Respect their personal space. They’re the only people I’ve met who come with protocol so that was interesting. And then I think what we were trying to gauge is how many people were following the protocol and how strict the protocol is.”
He jokingly added, “I assume you get put in the Tower Of London if it all goes wrong. I’ve got to think of the repercussions. I’d like to come back here one day.”
The stars of the movie were also told how to properly address Archie Harrison’s parents, and at point they would be allowed to speak. Lion King actor Billy Eichner shared, “Like Seth said, they tell you you’re supposed to say your Royal Highness, you can’t speak until your hands are locked together in a handshake and all these crazy things, and I didn’t know how much you were supposed to follow that so I started panicking. We were watching what our friend Keegan [Keegan-Michael Key] did and he did none of the protocol either and just kind of nodded his head, then it all fell apart.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended the UK premiere of The Lion King on July 14
Harry and Meghan attended the UK premiere of the film on Sunday, where they met the stars of the movie. Beyoncé reportedly broke protocol by arriving to the red carpet after the royals. The Duchess, who is a longtime fan of the Single Ladies singer, and the Duke spoke with the Grammy winner and her husband Jay-Z. “Your baby is so beautiful,” Beyoncé told Meghan. “We love you guys.”
Meanwhile, Pharrell praised the royal couple’s 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,” he said, to which Meghan replied, "Thank you, they don't make it easy."