Actor Idris Elba and his new wife, Sabrina Dhowre, made history by becoming the first couple of African descent on the cover of British Vogue, Elba wrote on Instagram. The British actor and his Somali-born model wife tied the knot in Morocco in April.
The newlyweds appeared together in the cover of British Vogue’s Special Bridal July 2019 issue. They were photographed by Sean Thomas wearing their wedding outfits, Yahoo Style UK noted. The former Miss Vancouver wore a Vera Wang one-shoulder gown and David Morris jewelry, while her new husband wore a classic black suit by Ozwald Boateng.
Dhowre is Elba’s third wife. He was previously married to make-up artist Hanne “Kim” Nøgaard, whom he wed in 1999, and the couple had a daughter, Isan, in 2002. The two divorced in 2003. Elba was briefly married to real estate lawyer Sonya Nicole Hamlin in 2006 and the two divorced after four months of marriage, Yahoo Style UK reported. He also has a 5-year-old son named Winston with ex-girlfriend Naiyana Garth.
Elba opened up about marrying his third wife, and told the fashion magazine that he never intended to walk down the aisle for a third time. The two met in 2017 at a Vancouver jazz bar while Elba filmed The Mountain Between Us. He called their meeting “love at first sight.”
“You know, I’m 47 this year, been married and lived a full life before I even met Sabrina,” Elba told British Vogue. “It wasn’t something that I wanted to do, get married again. But…”
He added, “We’ve been literally inseparable since we met.” The actor said that his new wife helped him deepen longtime friendships and has nurtured “the best side of me to make me connect to my friends more.”
The couple were engaged in February 2018 and married a little more than a year later in April 2019, Us Weekly reported. Elba and Dhowre exchanged vows in a three-day ceremony at the Ksar Char-Bagh Hotel in Marrakesh, Morocco. They chose the northern African country because their families are from east and west Africa, and they wanted to meet in the middle.
“We want the guest to leave remembering the importance of love,” Dhowre told British Vogue about her wedding to Elba. “Behind all the glitz and the flowers, that’s what matters.”
Elba and Dhowre made their first public appearance as a married couple at the 2019 Met Gala. PEOPLE’s reigning Sexiest Man Alive wore a black suit with colorful patterns, while his wife wore a form-fitting, strapless metallic pink gown. According to PEOPLE, the couple made their Met Gala debut in 2018, when Dhowre wore a custom Givenchy.
The “Luther” actor shared a photo of British Vogue’s cover on Instagram. “What a time to be alive… So proud of being on the cover of @britishvogue with my wife @sabrinaelba,” he wrote. Elba added the hashtag #firstafricancoupleonbritishvogue. His wife also shared images from their wedding, calling it “the best day of my life.”
Elba also opened up about attending the royal wedding of Prince Harry and American-born actor Meghan Markle in 2018. “That was an incredible experience,” he said of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s May wedding. “I was curating the music for that night, so it was a bit of pressure, but it was great. A vibe.”
Elba and Dohwre also chose to spend their honeymoon in Africa, and visited the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, Essence reported. The Elbas reportedly stayed in two locations: the Singita Sasakwa and Singita Faru Faru lodges and shared several photos of their eco-honeymoon on Instagram.
British Vogue has featured several Black celebrities and models, including Zoë Kravitz, Naomi Campbell, Adut Akech, Rihanna, Oprah Winfrey, Selena Forrest, and others. The fashion publication has seen its fair share of backlash over issues of racism and representation.
Supermodel Naomi Campbell spoke out against former editor-in-chief Alexandra Shulman, after she implied that Black models sold fewer issues. Campbell posted a screenshot of an op-ed titled, “Don’t tell me Black cover models don’t sell – editors have the power to change cultural perceptions.” She included the hashtag #newvogue, according to StyleCaster.
In 2017, British Vogue appointed Edward Enninful as editor-in-chief. Enninful is the first Black, openly gay male to head the magazine. Under Enninful’s new leadership, British Vogue again faced criticism when it issued a cover with white actors Margot Robbie and Nicole Kidman along with the coverline, “Why we need to talk about race,” The Independent reported.
The Special Bridal issue of British Vogue is now available on newsstands and digital download.
About the Author
Nicole Rojas is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has published in various venues, including Newsweek, GlobalPost, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, and the Long Island Post. Nicole graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a degree in print journalism. She is an avid world traveler who recently explored Asia and Australia.