Inside Princess Diana’s A-list inner circle

Sir Elton John
Princess Diana’s friendship with this starry singer-songwriter was well documented, and Sir Elton remains close to her sons to this day (even performing at the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding reception, and hosting the couple at his French Riviera holiday home). The pair first met at Prince Andrew’s 21st birthday party at Windsor Castle in 1981. Writing of the late royal in his memoir, Me, Sir Elton recalls: ‘She was blessed with an incredible social ease, an ability to talk to anybody, to make herself seem ordinary.’ The two friends briefly fell out when Diana – whose activism helped break down the stigma surrounding Aids – withdrew from writing the foreword to Gianni Versace’s Rock and Royalty, a coffee table book raising money for the Aids Foundation. Sir Elton writes that he thought ‘Buckingham Palace didn’t like the idea of a member of the Royal Family having anything to do with a book that featured shots of naked guys with towels draped around them’. The pair made amends, however, at Versace’s funeral (see below), just weeks before Diana’s death. Sir Elton then memorably performed at Diana’s funeral at Westminster Abbey in 1997, paying tribute to his friend with a touching rendition of his song, Candle in the Wind. It featured reworked lyrics by his writing partner, Bernie Taupin, including the lines: ‘You called out to our country, and you whispered to those in pain.’

Written by Viral Fresh

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