Whether you care or not about the royal wedding of the year, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are big right now.
But thankfully, they are looking to be the most pro-LGBTI royal couple ever.
The two have already picked a preacher well known for being the first to bless same-sex marriages in North Carolina.
Putting LGBTI issues front and center
The couple have vowed to put LGBTI issues at the forefront.
Meeting with delegates from the Commonwealth Youth Forum, they supported efforts to decriminalize homosexuality around the world.
One said: ‘Miss Markle said, and these were her exact words, “This is a basic human rights issue, not one about sexuality.”’
First off, the two began as they meant to go on with their royal engagements.
The happy couple visited HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust, where he met with people living with HIV.
In February, the prince met with players from one of the UK’s biggest gay rugby clubs.
He has also praised the ‘amazing’ work of transgender children’s charity Mermaids.
One of Meghan’s best friends is gay
Studying drama in Illinois, Meghan’s best friend at university was a gay guy called Larnelle Quentin Foster.
A son of two preachers, she would have meals with his family at weekends and enjoyed cooking together and going to avant-garde theatre shows.
Larnelle, now a professor of drama, says she’s ‘very kind, very genuine, someone who cares deeply about her family, her friends and the world’.
The two were under pressure by Larnelle’s parents to get married.
‘If my mother had had her way, of course I’d be with Meghan,’ he said. ‘She would say: “Oh, I love Meghan so much.”
‘I was like, “Yes, Mom, I do, too” but it was never going to happen. I obviously knew she was a beautiful woman, but it was just not on my radar.’
Meghan’s charitable work
Other than being an actress, Meghan is also a humanitarian and works a lot for charities around the world.
She is the global ambassador for World Vision UK.
The couple have asked people to donate money to a HIV charity Chiva, as well as six other charities.
Prince Harry saved gay soldier from homophobic attack
A gay soldier serving in the British army claims Prince Harry saved him from a ‘battering’ from a rival regiment.
James Wharton, who served in the British military for ten years, said that in 2008 six soldiers threatened to batter him over a gay rumor regarding one of their fellow platoon-men.
Prince Harry told him: ‘Right, I’m going to sort this shit out once and for all.’
He approached the group of men and warned they would be subject to ‘severe discipline’ if they did not rescind their threatening behavior.
Wharton describes Prince Harry, who was his tank commander, as ‘one of my greatest protectors’.
When Prince Harry became a pin-up in a gay bar
In 2012, a London gay bar made headlines when it erected a large mural of a topless Prince Harry – then on active duty in Afghanistan – on one of its walls.
The popularity of the mural, by artist Mike Bliss, cemented Harry’s status as a gay icon.
Bar owner Chris Amos said at the time, ‘He’s a real man. He’s cheeky and sexy but he’s also decent. That’s what makes him a role model for us, as well as being a gay icon.’
The venue, Manbar, has sadly now closed so you can no longer enjoy the mural in person.
Wowing the audience at the Attitude awards
The annual awards bash by British gay magazine Attitude are one of the UK’s gay calendar’s most star-studded affairs.
Harry was the very special guest of honor last October when he showed up to accept an award given posthumously to his mother, Princess Diana.
He gave a moving speech in which he talked about his mother’s work in raising awareness around HIV – work he has continued with his own charity endeavours.
Stripping off in Vegas
In August 2012, the tabloid press published leaked photos of a seemingly naked Prince Harry frolicking in a Las Vegas hotel during a game of ‘strip billiards’.
The then-27-year-old was reported to be partying with six women at the time. He was enjoying a break from service before jetting off to Afghanistan.
The supposed ‘scandal’ may have offended a few staunch Royalists, but it also won the Prince million of new fans – not least many thirsty LGBTIs around the world, such as yours truly.
Supporting those with HIV
Prince Harry made it his mission to follow in his mother’s footsteps in her work with charities. But more specifically, with her HIV/AIDS activism.
As a result, Prince Harry regularly meets people living with HIV .
Just last year, he and Meghan attended a World AIDS Day fair as their first public appearance since announcing their engagement.
Prince Harry also got a rapid HIV test live on Facebook – the test came back negative.
Honoring Diana’s work
Harry has said he will continue to honor his late mother’s work.
He has said: ‘I often wonder about what she would be doing to continue the fight against HIV and AIDS if she were still with us today.
I believe that she would be telling everyone across society – not just those most at risk – that with effective treatment being free and available in the UK, that we must all embrace regular testing – both for our own sake and for those that we love.’