More than a tiny dancer. Elton John has been connected to the royal family since the 1970s, when Princess Margaret and Queen Elizabeth I were fans of his music. The British musician has stayed close to the royals over the years, but formed a special bond with the late Princess Diana in the early ‘80s.
“[I was] playing for Prince Andrew‘s 21st birthday party at Windsor Castle,” John told the Vancouver Sun of the first time he met Diana. “When I arrived, there was no one there but the dance band and Princess Diana. We danced the Charleston alone on the floor for 20 minutes.”
As the years progressed, John and Diana’s relationship continued to flourish and he became close with her children, Prince Harry and Prince William, whom she shared with then-husband Prince Charles. While the musician and the Princess of Wales had a falling out after he released the book Rock and Royalty with friend Gianni Versace in 1997, they eventually came together again following the designer’s murder a few months later.
“Diana rang me up and we reconciled,” John recalled in January 2018, adding that Diana was killed in a Paris car accident at age 36 just six weeks later. “It was an extraordinary and mesmerizing summer, and I just couldn’t believe what was going on.”
Although Diana has been dead for more than two decades, the pianist remains a big part of the British royal family’s life. From performing at their weddings to working with them on groundbreaking charity projects, keep scrolling to relive John’s best moments with the royals over the years!