Friday, September 30, 2022

Buckingham Palace ‘did not want to let Elton John perform at Diana’s funeral’

Buckingham Palace initially resisted Sir Elton John’s plans to perform at Princess Diana’s funeral, new newspapers suggest.

The high priest, Dean of Westminster, as early as 1997, asked the royal family to allow the famous performance A candle in the wind, whose lyrics were rewritten by Sir Elton and songwriting partner Bernie Taupin for the late Princess.

However, documents released by the National Archives suggest the plan has met with resistance due to concerns that the rewritten texts – which changed the opening line from “Goodbye Norma Jean” to “Goodbye England’s rose” – were “too sentimental.”

Abbey even agreed to put the young saxophonist on standby for a solo instrumental version of the song, although this was considered “second best performance.”

A candle in the windoriginally written in memory of Marilyn Monroe, was widely used and played the role of a monument to Princess Diana after she died in a car accident with partner Dodi Fayed in 1997.

The new documents contain a note from the Dean, Rev. Wesley Carr, who was involved in the service negotiations between the Palace and Diana’s family, to Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm Ross, a senior member of the royal family, about plans for a funeral.

He suggested singing, but not typing the words if he thought it was “too sentimental.”

The dean suggested that performing “something classical or choral” would be “inappropriate.”

“It would be better if a song by Elton John (known to millions and the princess loved his music) was powerful,” he wrote.

“He wrote new words for a melody that is widely played and sung throughout the country in memory of Diana. It’s on the radio all the time. Its use here would be creative and generous to the millions who feel lost to personal loss: it is popular culture at its best. “

He added: “If the words are considered too sentimental (although this is by no means a bad thing, given the national mood), they should not be printed, but only sung.”

The dean said he was willing to talk about the “meaning of this proposal” over the phone with anyone.

After he performed the revised version A candle in the wind at the funeral Sir Elton re-recorded the song.

In his memoir, he described how the single became “the biggest selling single since it hit the charts.”

The pop singer said the song’s long life made him feel “very uncomfortable.”

“Its success meant that week after week, Top Of The Pops featured footage of Diana’s funeral — it was almost as if her mourning was out of control,” he said.

“I really didn’t think it was what Diana wanted and I didn’t want to do anything to prolong it any further.”

Sir Elton said he declined to discuss the funeral during his television appearances and did not include the reworked version on his most popular albums.

Buckingham Palace was approached for comment.

Additional reporting information from the Press Association

Nation World News Desk
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