Meghan Markle will be a role model 'for all women' after entering royal family, says Idris Elba

'She's going to be a beacon and of course she's going to be someone that people look towards'

Catherine Wylie
Friday 15 December 2017 11:33 GMT
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The former actress is due to marry Prince Harry in May
The former actress is due to marry Prince Harry in May

Meghan Markle will be a "beacon" and role model within the royal family, actor Idris Elba has said.

Before a Buckingham Palace dinner to celebrate the work of The Prince's Trust, the star of Luther and The Wire was asked about role models who are black or mixed race, and whether Ms Markle could make a difference to young people now that she is engaged to Prince Harry.

"Meghan Markle, as a person, regardless of her colour, is a role model," said Elba, a former beneficiary of the charity.

"As a strong woman marrying into our royal family, she's going to be a role model for any woman - black, white. The point is that of course our society is one of mixed heritage and it's nice to see Meghan within the royal family.

"It's great. And of course she's going to be a beacon and of course she's going to be someone that people look towards."

Asked if that is important to him, he replied: "I think it is. Absolutely. Our country is built on our monarchy, we love our monarchy and it's good to be connected."

Harry and American former actress Ms Markle announced their engagement on 27 November after dating for just over 18 months.

They are due to marry at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in May.

Elba joined Charles at the One Million Young Lives Dinner which was delivered with the help of young people supported by the charity Charles set up in 1976.

The star previously said "good old Prince Charles" helped him get his big break as he made a speech in Parliament about diversity in television.

Elba, 45, who was supported by the Trust in the 1980's, said that money from The Prince's Trust helped him go to the National Youth Music Theatre.

"If I hadn't got that money I wouldn't ever have gone into that theatre show, I wouldn't have had that experience of being in a professional theatre, and I probably wouldn't be standing here today.

"So I know that The Prince's Trust is a great charity and a great place to nurture children, young people, that just need a little direction. And they've proved it for 40 years. I'm partly one of their success stories if you like, and it's good that I can be a beacon for others."

The dinner, which featured a performance by singer Emeli Sande, was arranged to celebrate the growth of The Prince's Trust following a successful campaign to raise £40 million, launched as part of the charity's 40th anniversary in 2016.

PA

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