Idris Elba defends Harry and Meghan’s Oprah interview: ‘You cannot take someone’s voice away’


Rebecca Taylor
·Royal CorrespondentWed, 31 March 2021, 12:31 pm

WINDSOR, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 19:  Idris Elba and Sabrina Dhowre arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle before the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Gareth Fuller - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Idris Elba and Sabrina Dhowre at St George’s Chapel for the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle. (Gareth Fuller – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Idris Elba has defended Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, saying “everyone has to have their opportunity to speak up”.

The fallout from the interview continues, although the Queen has been keen to keep the resolution to the issues raised as private family matters.

Elba, who attended the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding in 2018 and DJ’d at the reception, was asked about his response to Meghan’s part of the interview as he promoted his new Netflix film.

While speaking to ET, Elba was asked: “We have seen in real life your friend Meghan Markle telling her story of the black experience – what do you think about her courage, just stepping out and saying ‘I need to speak my truth’?” 

He replied: “I will say that everyone has to have their opportunity to speak up about what they feel – you cannot take someone’s voice away, that’s what we have to communicate.”

During the Oprah interview, which first aired on 7 March, Meghan said she felt suicidal during her time as a senior royal and claimed she was not able to access support.

She also said a member of the family, though not the Queen or Prince Philip, had a conversation with Harry about the colour of their baby’s skin, though it was not clear when the conversation took place.

Harry declined to offer further details.

Watch: Race issues raised by Harry and Meghan ‘concerning’, Palace says 0:42 0:42   Race issues raised by Harry and Meghan ‘concerning’, palace says

Read more: Royal Family still feeling ‘deep sadness’ over rift with Harry and Meghan

The Palace issued a statement saying the issues raised, particularly around race, were concerning, but would be dealt with privately.

Elba is the latest of Meghan’s friends to offer support publicly since the interview. Her close friend Serena Williams praised her “poise” and “class” when she was asked for her reaction.

Elba’s comments came just before the Archbishop of Canterbury confirmed he married the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in the ceremony in Windsor on 19 May, 2018, and not a few days before in their garden. 

The duchess had told Winfrey: “Three days before our wedding, we got married. Nobody knows that.”

A spokesman for the Sussexes later confirmed it was an informal exchange of vows and not the legal ceremony, but the archbishop came under scrutiny for his role in what happened and the royal wedding was called into question.

Speaking to la Repubblica, Justin Welby said: “The legal wedding was on the Saturday. I signed the wedding certificate, which is a legal document, and I would have committed a serious criminal offence if I signed it knowing it was false.”

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