Carla Bruni sparks backlash after posting edited photo of Harry and Meghan

France’s former first lady, Carla Bruni has sparked a backlash for an edited photo of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, ahead of the realease of the Duke of Sussex’s new memoir, Spare.

On Monday, the 55-year-old model shared a picture of the pair that was taken in 2018, ahead of their royal wedding. However, Bruni –who is married to former French president Nicolas Sarkozy – made some changes to the image, as she replaced the Duchess of Sussex’s face with Yoko Ono. Bruni’s caption of her post also featured lines from The Beatles’ 1967 song, “All You Need Is Love”.

“All you need is love ….” she wrote. “Love …Love is all you need…”

Bruni’s joke appears to be comparing Meghan’s relationship with Harry to Ono’s involvement in John Lennon’s life. The two musicians met in 1966, married in 1969, and stayed together until Lennon was murdered in 1980. However, when The Beatles broke up in 1970, fans famously blamed Ono for the split. In 1971, Ono and Lennon left the UK and moved to the US.

In the comments of Bruni’s post, many Instagram users criticised the French singer for comparing Meghan’s behaviour to Ono.

“You have a right to your opinion, but you could have just not posted this… adding to the negativity in the world, and for what?” one wrote.

“And to think I’ve always been a fan of yours. Was that really necessary?” another added.

A third person wrote: “When a woman turns against another woman for no reason whatsoever is quite disturbing. When someone like you, Mrs Bruni, does this, I find it quite upsetting because am one of your followers.”

Many other people expressed that post was racist towards both Yono, Meghan, and other women of colour and emphasised that they wouldn’t be supporting Bruni’s work anymore.

“Not funny. Why would you post something so insensitive? Seriously. Why are you condoning racism and supporting hateful rhetoric?” one wrote. “Meghan has been the target of multiple death threats in recent years, Yoko was threatened many years ago and then John was murdered.”

“Carla Bruni, a white woman, continuing to blame WOC for the decisions their white partners make,” another person tweet. “Funny that they never blame any of the white female partners. Ugh, I’m upset I ever admired Carla. I’m done with her.”

A third person tweeted: “I historically gave Carla Bruni a lot more credit. It wasn’t deserved. When given the opportunity to clown, most white women will take it. In the same way Yoko had nothing to do w/the Beatles separating (hell all groups disband at some point), Meg has 0 to do w/ Harry’s choice.”

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Bruni’s Instagram post came one day before Penguin Random House released Harry’s highly controversial book, Spare, which features bombshell revelations about the royal family.

Despite excerpts being leaked ahead of its release, Spare has maintained interest and is still at the top of many bestseller charts. On 10 January, the memoir is currently ranked number one on Barnes and Nobles’ Top 100 Book Bestsellers list. A report from The Guardian also estimates that Spare will be among the “biggest pre-order titles of the last decade” for a number of bookstores.