Meghan Markle's Wedding Reception Request That Set The Dance Floor Off

When it comes to royal weddings, tradition often trumps everything else. There are however a few select opportunities for the bride and groom to inject their celebrations with some individuality, whether through fashion, flowers, the order of service or—as has recently been revealed in the case of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle—the musical selections for the wedding reception.

Speaking to BBC Radio 1Xtra, Hollywood actor Idris Elba has recounted the story of the special role he played on the evening of Harry and Meghan's 2018 wedding at Windsor Castle.

The star is also known for his talents as a DJ and musician and was asked by the royal couple to play a set at their evening wedding reception, hosted by Prince Charles at the Georgian mansion Frogmore House in Windsor Great Park.

Speaking to listeners of Radio 1Xtra's Rap Show, Elba, star of The Wire and Luther, told host Tiffany Calver which songs got the biggest reactions from the guests. "I Wanna Dance With Somebody—they went off on that" he said, naming the song made famous by Whitney Houston.

The next addition to his royal wedding playlist proved an unexpected hit with Elba stating that "Meghan's request" of the song Still D.R.E by Dr Dre "went off!"

Speaking to Ellen DeGeneres in 2019, Elba explained how he and Harry met. "We hung out a couple of times through his dad," the star said.

"His dad's charity, The Prince's Trust, helped me out as a young actor so I do a lot of work with them—William and Harry—and Harry came to a couple of parties that I DJ'd and he was like 'Hey man, what are you doing on the date [of the wedding]?' and I was like 'ah nothing' and he goes, 'hmm—would you DJ at my wedding?'"

Elba was invited to attend the couple's wedding ceremony at St George's Chapel before the reception alongside other Hollywood A-listers such as Oprah Winfrey and George Clooney.

After the ceremony, a small reception was held at the castle by Queen Elizabeth II before the more informal celebration at Frogmore House was held in the evening. Sir Elton John reportedly performed at the queen's reception, a tough act for Elba to follow. The star was comforted at least that the bride and groom had given him a list of requests beforehand.

Speaking on BBC Radio 1Xtra in 2019, Elba revealed that Meghan had given him some guidance on the types of songs she was expecting for her big day. He told show host Ace, "Meghan gave me a playlist with some bare tunes on it."

The Frogmore House reception ended with a spectacular fireworks display over Windsor Great Park with Harry and Meghan using a photograph from the event as their official Christmas card for 2018.

Elba's performance at the Sussexs' wedding is not the first time a celebrity has made a musical appearance at a royal wedding reception. For their Buckingham Palace wedding reception in 2011, Prince William and Kate Middleton asked British singer Ellie Goulding to perform a number of songs including her popular cover of Elton John's Your Song.

In 1981 at their pre-wedding gala reception at Buckingham Palace, Prince Charles and Princess Diana also had a guest musical act in the form of the popular British soul band Hot Chocolate, most noted for their 1975 hit You Sexy Thing.

Meghan and Harry will celebrate their fourth wedding anniversary on May 19.

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Idris Elba Meghan Markle Wedding
Idris Elba has revealed two songs that he played during his DJ set at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding reception which got guests on their feet. Elba (L) photographed at the 87th Academy Awards, February 22, 2015. And Harry and Meghan (R) photographed on their wedding day, May 19, 2018. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images/Ben Stansall/WPA Pool/Getty Images