Idris Elba is a man of many talents, but perhaps one of his lesser celebrated ones is that of being a DJ. In fact, he told Ellen DeGeneres on her show Wednesday, his reputation as a DJ scored him an invite to the royal wedding—leading the charge on the reception entertainment.
“Harry and I have hung out a couple of times through his dad [Prince Charles],” Elba explained. “His dad’s charity, the Prince’s Trust, helped me out as a young actor, so I do a lot of work with them, and hung out with Harry and William quite a few times.”
The actor explained that Harry had attended a few parties where he’d been DJing, and asked him at one point, in a most casual way, whether Elba would DJ his and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding. “He was like, ‘Hey, man. What are you doing on May 19?’And I was like, ‘Oh, nothing,'” Elba said. “And he goes, ‘Hm. Would you DJ at my wedding?'”
And hence, Elba DJ’d at the royal wedding (and will get behind the turntable again at this year’s Coachella).
For all his experience with weddings, however, Elba confessed that when it came time for him to propose to his girlfriend of just over a year, Sabrina Dhowre, the actor was downright nervous.
“Basically what happened was that it was two days before Valentine’s, and I had this ring in my pocket and it was burning a hole,” he told DeGeneres on her show Wednesday. “And then Valentine’s came and she had to fly somewhere so there was a likelihood I wasn’t going to see her on Valentine’s Day.”
Elba, 46, explained that his mind instantly went into minor panic mode. “‘When do I do it, when do I do it?’” he said of what was going through his mind. Then, inspiration struck. The weekend before Valentine’s Day, he was going to be hosting a private screening of his new movie, Yardie, and it turned out to be the perfect opportunity to pop the question.
“So I made this movie and Sab was on the set every day, she knew the crew, so at this private screening—it was for just the cast and crew—I just dropped to one knee and, yeah,” he said as the studio audience erupted in cheers and applause. “It was very nerve-wracking.”
Elba previously told People magazine as part of his Sexiest Man Alive interview that he didn’t realize the proposal would get so public so quickly. “Yeah, I didn’t expect it to quite make British news and American news and Japanese news, for that matter,” he said at the time. “It was quite a public affair. But it really wasn’t meant to be on the news.”
Elba and Dhowre, 29, first met and fell in love while on the set of his 2017 thriller The Mountain Between Us, in which he starred opposite Kate Winslet.
“Falling in love while making a movie about falling in love is pretty special,” he told People’s editor-in-chief Jess Cagle for an episode of The Jess Cagle Interview.
This will be Elba’s third marriage; he shares a four-year-old son Winston with his ex, Naiyana Garth, and a daughter with makeup artist Hanne Norgaard, Isan, who is now 15.