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Is Disney Backing Meghan Markle in a Scene from ‘The Little Mermaid’?

Halle Bailey and Meghan Markle
Credit: People, The Independent

Disney is notorious for leaving easter eggs in movies, series, and attractions throughout Disney Parks. Fans have caught several instances of art imitating life in Disney flicks, like the scene from The Lion King when Pumba references In The Heat of The Night (1967), exclaiming, “They call me Mr. Pig!” as a nod to the line “They call me Mister Tibbs.”

In a more recent scene from Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, a London reviewer snagged an unexpected movie moment that could be taking a stance in the monarchy. While viewing the highly-anticipated live-action film starring Halle Bailey, a cinemagoer noticed possible references to the royal family. In a conversation with Page Six, the reviewer shared:

Ariel has sacrificed her voice in order to get to the surface and [meet] Prince Eric. She can’t speak so he tries to guess her name. His first guess is Diana. His second guess is Catherine, but after [Ariel gives a disgusted] reaction, he [concludes] ‘OK, definitely not Catherine.’”


Halle Bailey in The Little Mermaid / Credit: Disney

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The parallel comes from the name Diana, shared with Prince Harry’s late mother, Princess Diana. Catherine, the second name Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King) guesses, is the same as the Princess of Wales’s nickname: Kate. The repulsed response Halle Bailey’s character, Ariel, gives Prince Eric in the scene when he mentions Catherine is speculated to be a jab at Kate Middleton.

halle bailey as ariel

Halle Bailey as Princess Ariel / Credit: Disney

After years of scrutiny in the London press, Meghan Markle has been pitted against her sister-in-law, Kate Middleton. Markle’s controversial exit from her royal status with her husband, Prince Harry, sent shockwaves through the country in 2020, polarizing opinions of the Duchess ever since.

In addition to the scene in question, London critics drew comparisons between Markle and Ariel, especially regarding their appearance. With Bailey being the first black Ariel starring across from a white Hauer-King, parallels were made to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Halley Bailey Jonah Hauer-King Meghan Markle Prince Harry

Credit: Disney, Yahoo

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Both Bailey and Markle are royalty who have been on the receiving end of awful racist comments in the media, and it’s not farfetched to see a connection between the two. The cinemagoers in London were sure the Markle thread throughout the film was intentional, but it’s safe to assume director Rob Marshall won’t pull back the curtain any time soon.

Coming to theaters May 26, The Little Mermaid features a star-powered cast with Halle Bailey as Ariel, Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder, Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, Awkwafina as Scuttle, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, and Javier Bardem as King Triton.

About Kaitlin Morelli

A Disney World Guest since before she could walk, Kaitlin is a Jersey girl and former Virginia Tech Hokie. When she's not listening to the 'Moana' soundtrack on repeat with her baby daughter, she's writing, singing, and strumming the ukulele. Kaitlin is passionate about finding the best Disney Park tips n' tricks and moments when pop culture and Disney collide. She's looking forward to eventually taking her first Disney trip with her favorite fan in the making: her daughter.

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