Billy Eichner on Meeting Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: ‘You Would Never Know That They’re Royals’
Billy Eichner’s adorable nervous preparation before meeting Meghan Markle at The Lion King premiere made headlines — and now he’s spilling all the details about how that royal meeting went. Since Markle and Eichner both were theatre majors at Northwestern University around the same time, they had something in common that they could talk about.
Eichner prepared to meet Prince Harry and Markle
During an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Eichner dished on the “intense” protocol required for the meeting that left the cast of the Lion King feeling “all kind of nervous,” he shared, adding, “even Beyonce.”
Eichner noted: “What makes you nervous is that the days leading up to it, they email you a protocol of how you’re supposed to greet Prince Harry and Meghan… You’re supposed to say, ‘Your Royal Highness,’ you can’t speak until your hands are in a handshake with his…”
The actor shared that his guest, his friend Jared, was told to stand behind him and only speak to the royal couple if he was spoken to directly. Eichner said, “I’m not kidding! I was like, ‘Does that same rule apply to JAY-Z?’ I don’t know. I have a feeling it doesn’t!”
Eichner was caught on camera before the meeting
Eichner shared a clip of himself on social media that captured him as he nervously waited for his turn to meet Prince Harry and Markle. He says to costar Seth Rogan in the video: “[I’m going to say] pleasure to meet you. I’m gonna say it, I’m gonna say it.”
He told Kimmel, “Your Highness sounds a little weird and bowing feels weird. 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 Brothers.”
The moment left Eichner a bit worried, as he admitted, “I completely freaked out,” but it all went well, he shared, explaining, “Although, they were very, very nice and totally chill and down to earth and lovely.”
Here’s what he and the duchess talked about
On Today with Hoda and Jenna, Eichner spilled some of their limited conversation, sharing, “Meghan and I both went to college together — we were both theatre majors at Northwestern. We didn’t know each other when we were there, but we were there at the same time.”
He continued: “In the middle of this huge royal premiere you’re looking at, right there we’re having a very casual conversation about our acting teachers at Northwestern.”
Markle congratulated the actor on his success and he returned the compliment: “And she said, ‘Well, things took a little turn,’” Eichner recalled.
He also shared his first impression of the couple, after getting the honor to talk with them, noting: “She was lovely, and they were so cool and down to earth. You would never know that they’re royals.”
He also touched on how he was nervous when he met Beyonce, calling her “great” and now has sung a song with the music legend. During his appearance on Jimmy Kimmel, the late-night host commemorated the once-in-a-lifetime experience with a gift: a pair of overalls that says “I’m on a song with Beyonce.”