Idris Elba hails 'strong' Meghan Markle as 'beacon' and 'role model' for all women

Rhiannon Mills, Royal Correspondent

Meghan Markle will be a "beacon" and "role model" as she joins the Royal Family, actor Idris Elba has told Sky News.

The star of Luther and The Wire, who was supported by the Prince's Trust, was speaking ahead of a dinner at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the charity that was set up by Prince Charles.

Asked whether Prince Harry's fiancée would be a good role model for young people to look up to, Elba said: "Meghan Markle, as a person, regardless of her colour, is a role model. As a strong woman marrying into our Royal Family, she's going to be a role model for any woman.

"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."

He added: "Our country is built on our monarchy, we love our monarchy and it's good to be connected."

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Elba, who is now a proud ambassador of the Prince's Trust, was given a grant back in the 1980s which allowed him to follow his dream of going into acting.

He said: "If I pinpoint a time when I didn't have any money, my parents didn't have any money, I needed some help, the Prince's Trust came through - the Prince's Trust and my Auntie May.

"The Prince's Trust gave me some money to go to the National Youth Music Theatre.

"And I remember if I hadn't got that money, I wouldn't have ever gone into that theatre show, I wouldn't have had that experience of going into the National Theatre, and I probably wouldn't be standing here today, that's sort of the truth."

The singer Emeli Sandé also sang at the event to celebrate a successful fundraising campaign for the Trust.

To mark last year's 40th anniversary, the charity set out to raise £40m. It has now hit that target, which will allow it to support one million young people over the next 10 years.

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