Yes, there was a friendship between this 75-year-old pop singer and a 96-year-old monarch.
“Along with the rest of the nation, I am deeply saddened to hear the news of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s passing,” John posted on Twitter. “She was an inspiring presence to be around and led the country through some of our greatest and darkest moments with grace, decency and a genuine caring warmth.
“Queen Elizabeth has been a huge part of my life from childhood to this day, and I will miss her dearly.”
Queen Elizabeth Knighted Elton John a Sir in 1998
Elton John was four when Elizabeth became queen. That was back when he was known as Reggie Dwight and living in a London suburb. Years later, he became friends with Lady Diana Spencer, Queen Elizabeth’s future daughter-in-law.
When Princess Diana died 25 years ago, Elton John performed at her funeral. He reworked his hit song “Candle in the Wind” to make it a tribute to Diana in “Goodbye England’s Rose.” The song initially was for Marilyn Monroe. But it became the top-selling single, ever, in both Britain and the United States when Elton John devoted the song to his friend, the people’s princess. Proceeds from the song went to Diana’s favorite charities. “Goodbye England’s Rose” topped the charts in the United States for 14 straight weeks. The song earned a Grammy in 1998.
On April 24, 1998, Queen Elizabeth gave Elton John another high honor. That’s the day he became Sir Elton John. The queen knighted him. John became the first openly gay musician to receive a knighthood.
John was invited to other royal functions, even after Diana’s death. He and his husband attended the wedding of Prince William, Diana’s first born, when he married Kate Middleton.
Elton John wrote about Queen Elizabeth in his 2019 memoir, “Me.” He recalled seeing the queen fussing at her nephew for not checking on his sister. He wrote: “I know the Queen’s public image isn’t exactly one of wild frivolity, but … in private she could be hilarious.”
As Americans were waking up Thursday, news broke that Queen Elizabeth was under a doctor’s care at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. Her children took a private plane to be with her. Hours later, the palace confirmed that the queen had died, peacefully, with oldest son Charles becoming King.