Ayo Edebiri Meets Prince William — and Instantly Becomes a Meme

The Bear Star Ayo Edebiris Reaction to Meeting Prince William at 2024 BAFTAs Goes Viral
Prince William, Prince of Wales, president of Bafta meets EE Rising Stars Phoebe Dynevor, Ayo Edebiri, Sophie Wilde and Mia McKenna Bruce after the Bafta Film Awards 2024. Jordan Pettitt – WPA Pool/Getty Images

With her latest viral moment, Ayo Edebiri is officially a total meme queen.

The Bear star, 28, was photographed making a funny face while meeting Prince William at the 2024 BAFTAs in London on Sunday, February 18. Her seemingly uncomfortable reaction to the royal laughing during a discussion with her fellow EE Rising Star Award nominees instantly prompted fans to turn to moment into a hilarious meme.

“I am simply begging you all to look at this photo of Ayo Edebiri meeting Prince William at the #BAFTAs” one fan captioned the photo via X on Sunday, to which a fan replied, “Their reactions are sending me 😭😭.”

Another X user joked that everyone in the photo looked “weirded tf out,” as Bridgerton‘s Phoebe Dynevor and Mia McKenna-Bruce were seen making polite smiles and Sophie Wilde had an indiscernible reaction to comments made by the Prince of Wales, 41.

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One fan poked fun at how William’s facial expression in the pic made him look like he was belting a tune, writing, “An amateur singer meets EE Rising Stars Phoebe Dynevor, Ayo Edebiri, and Sophie Wilde after the Bafta Film Awards 2024.”

Several X users made reference to Edebiri’s running gag that she’s a native of Ireland, with one fan captioning the BAFTAS pic, “The Queen of Ireland and The Prince of Wales.” Another fan commented, “That Irish traditional suspicious look Ayo is giving when meeting the British royals.”

Edebiri has been dubbed an honorary Irish citizen after joking that she lived in the country to prepare for her role as “Jenny the Donkey” in The Banshees of Inisherin, a role played by an actual donkey, in March 2022. She gave the country a shout-out on the Emmys red carpet last month, telling Entertainment Tonight, “Shout-out to my people! Shout-out to Derry! Shout-out to Cork! Shout-out to Killarney! Shout-out to Dublin!”

All jokes aside, Edebiri and her fellow nominees shared a pleasant interaction with William. In a clip of the group’s interaction shared via X, William shook hands with each of the stars before congratulating them on their accomplishments, stating, “The category was so strong.”

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The photograph was seemingly taken during a moment where William asked the women if they had a moment of realization that their careers were taking off. “Yeah, now,” McKenna-Bruce, 26, responded, prompting William to chuckle. Edebiri, for her part, added, “Is now the one? I think now might be the one.”

Edebiri ultimately lost out on the EE Rising Star Award to McKenna-Bruce during Sunday’s awards ceremony. She has scored big for her role as Sydney Adamu on The Bear this awards season, winning Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series at the 2023 Emmys and Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy, at the 2024 Golden Globes.

The Bear Star Ayo Edebiris Reaction to Meeting Prince William at 2024 BAFTAs Goes Viral
Ayo Edebiri Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images

The Bottoms actress hit the BAFTAs red carpet in a custom peach Bottega Veneta dress, which she paired with white gloves, silver heels and a cream-colored feather and fur shawl.

William, meanwhile, attended the event in a chic navy velvet blazer, black trousers and a matching black bow tie. He walked the red carpet sans his wife, Princess Kate Middleton, who is currently recovering from abdominal surgery.

The couple attended last year’s event after a two-year absence from the awards show. Kate, 42, complemented her husband’s black velvet tux with a flowy white, one-shoulder gown by one of her go-to designers, Jenny Packham. She accessorized the ensemble with gold statement earrings and black opera gloves.