Billy Eichner Says ‘Even Beyonce’ Was Nervous to Meet Duchess Meghan at ‘The Lion King’ Premiere


Beyoncé seemed cool, calm and collected when she met Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan at the London premiere of The Lion King, but she was just as anxious as her costars.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle came, and Beyoncé was there, and Sir Elton John was there. And I was there, randomly,” Billy Eichner, who voices Timon in the newly released photorealistic remake, joked on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Thursday, July 18. “It was great, and we were all kind of nervous — even Beyoncé.”

“Really?” Jimmy Kimmel asked. “They should be bowing to her!”

“That’s true, actually. She’s our American royalty,” Eichner, 40, responded.

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Duchess Meghan meets Beyoncé and Jay-Z at the European premiere of Disney’s ‘The Lion King’ at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square in London on July 14, 2019. Niklas Halle'n-WPA Pool/Getty Images

The Billy on the Street host, who received his second Emmy nomination for the Funny or Die series earlier this week, went on to explain exactly why he and his Lion King castmates felt nervous about the premiere.

“In the days leading up to it, they email you a protocol of how you’re supposed to greet Prince Harry,” he said. “They’re very intense about it. … You’re supposed to say ‘Your Royal Highness.’ You can’t speak until your hands are in a handshake with his. My plus-one, my guest I brought with me, my very good friend Jared, they said he had to stand behind me and not speak unless he was spoken to. I’m not kidding. I was like, ‘Does that same rule apply to Jay-Z? I have a feeling it doesn’t.’”

Eichner admitted that his nerves almost got the best of him and left him unsure of what to say to the royal couple, who tied the knot in May 2018 and welcomed son Archie earlier this year.

“‘Your Royal Highness’ sounds a little weird, and bowing feels weird,” he told Kimmel, 51. “And in my head, I’m like, ‘What do you call her?’ I kept thinking she’s Princess Markle, but that sounds like a character on Super Mario Bros. They don’t really call her that. Anyway, I completely freaked out, although they were very, very nice and totally chill and down-to-earth and lovely. She was really cool, and Harry was great too. They were very nice, lovely, beautiful-looking people.”

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Billy Eichner at Disney’s ‘The Lion King’ European premiere in London. Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images

Beyoncé, 37, and Jay-Z, 49, chatted with Harry, 34, and Meghan, 37, about Archie, 2 months, as well as the Grammy winners’ daughter Blue Ivy, 7, and twins Rumi and Sir, 2, while on the red carpet on Sunday, July 14. Queen Bey also adorably addressed the retired actress as “my princess.”

Jimmy Kimmel Live! airs on ABC weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET. The Lion King is in theaters now.

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