Newly-engaged royal couple Prince Harry and Meghan Markle gave a lengthy interview yesterday following the announcement of their engagement, which you can watch above.
The British tabloids have been digging into Markle’s past, of course, and spoke to Larnelle Foster, a gay friend and self-described “soul-mate” of Markle’s who met her while attending college and studying theatre at the University of Illinois:
Meghan has said that she met with ignorance and prejudice among her fellow students. When she told a faculty member her father was white and her mother black, and that they had divorced when she was very young, the girl fixed her with a knowing look and said this ‘made sense’.
For Meghan, the implication was that the failure of an inter-racial marriage was inevitable.
However, her saviour was Larnelle Quentin Foster, now 35, a flamboyant, larger-than-life African-American student who also aspired to an acting career. Though they were in different classes, he told me, they became ‘soul-mates’ and remain close.
Asked to describe Meghan’s character in those days, Larnelle, now a professor of drama, says she was ‘very kind, very genuine, someone who cares deeply about her family, her friends and the world’.
He adds: ‘She was also very quirky — and always smiling. I never saw her mad.’
His parents also adored Meghan — particularly his mother, who clearly hoped they might one day settle down together.
What Larnelle had not told her — or indeed anyone else at that stage — was that he was gay, so could never countenance marrying Meghan, much as he adored her.
‘If my mother had had her way, of course I’d be with Meghan,’ he says. ‘She would say: “Oh, I love Meghan so much.”
…Was Meghan aware that he was gay? ‘I’m pretty sure she was. But I didn’t tell her outright because I wasn’t ready then. The straight guys would have died to be in my position. They’d say: “How do you go out with her?” And I would say: “Because I’m not trying anything!’’’