Close Friends Forever: Exclusive Insights Into Princess Diana And Elton John’s Special Bond

By: Lisa Lee | Published: Aug 05, 2023

The fact that Elton John and Princess Diana were pals and then fell out is common knowledge. However, no one knew what had caused the rupture until the famous singer revealed the truth in his autobiography, titled Me.

Elton revealed the juicy details of his fight with Diana. What he said also shocked their respective fan bases.

A Well-known And Trusted Source

Not only does Me feature information on Elton John, but it also includes shocking disclosures about what Princess Diana and the other members of the royal family were really like when no one was watching.


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Due to the fact that Elton John was a good friend of Princess Diana, he is a living witness and well aware of a great deal of information that the royal family would have preferred to keep a secret–especially from the general public.


Revelations Against Diana

When Elton John’s book was first published, it caused controversy for some reason, and it’s possible that it was because John revealed some information that gave Rod Stewart fans a cause to express skepticism.


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However, when it comes to Princess Diana, he was very respectful in his remarks about her. He was worried about Diana’s reputation. Even after the star revealed everything about the rivalry between him and the princess, it was obvious that he still had affection for his old pal.

They Were Good Friends

Elton and Diana eventually crossed paths at a celebration held in honor of Prince Andrew’s 21st birthday in 1981. They continued to communicate with one another after that eventful meeting and gradually grew a firm bond of friendship.


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And in the end, the pop singer and the royal princess discovered that they had a major shared interest. The fight against AIDS and the search for a cure were matters to which they shared a deep commitment.

An Affectionate Friend

Elton was also able to become acquainted with Princes Harry and William. In addition, he contributed an article to Time magazine in 2018 that honored Harry for being named one of the Time 100 for that year.


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The celebrity added, “I first met an extremely shy and sweet Prince Harry at a private lunch at Kensington Palace given by his mother, Princess Diana, for Gianni Versace and me many years ago.” Elton John’s increasing connection with Princess Diana means they often attended events together.

Heroic Act

Elton mentioned in his speech, “What a joy it has been to see that young boy grow to inherit his mother’s warmth, sense of humor, and courage to stand up and champion the causes he truly believes in.”

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Diana had no qualms about getting involved in campaigns that other people might have preferred she stayed away from. For example, in an effort to disprove the idea that HIV can be transmitted through physical contact, she repeatedly touched the hands of people with AIDS.


Diana’s Passing

The question is, what precipitated the disagreement between Diana and Elton? The singer broached the subject of their dispute not long after the demise of Princess Diana.

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In 1997, when large portions of the United Kingdom appeared in a state of grief for the princess, Elton John serenaded the people by singing “Candle in the Wind” at Princess Diana’s burial to pay tribute. After the funeral, he went on to release the song in order to raise funds for the causes that were particularly important to Diana.


Friend’s Disagreement

In an interview conducted by David Frost from the BBC, Elton John disclosed that there was a small disagreement that took place at a charity event in which both participated. The two of them continued writing each other letters; nevertheless, neither of them ever reacted to the written communication received from the other.

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After the untimely passing of Gianni Versace, they start engaging in a deeper conversation than they had before. They reconnected at the funeral and formed a strong relationship over their grief for a common loss.


Losing A Friend

Versace had been a friend of Elton and Diana. He played a significant role in the event that ultimately led to the two people becoming estranged from one another. On July 15, 1997, the designer was fatally attacked in front of his residence, which was a tragic turn of events.

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When Diana found out about Versace, she immediately contacted John in order to inquire about her close buddy. They went to the funeral of Versace together in what would turn out to be one of Diana’s very last public appearances.


Inhumane Treatment

In his autobiography titled Me, Elton offered his thoughts on the burial of Princess Diana. Due to the fact that they were just 15 and 12 years old, the princes remained “completely shell-shocked,” owing to the fact that they were still adolescents and were, therefore, unable to conceal their emotions entirely, although they were expected to.

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He believes that it was inhumane and a terrible idea to ask the children to follow their mother’s casket through the streets of London while feigning no emotion and staring straight ahead.



According to what Elton wrote, after the funeral was over, he went straight to the recording studio to get “Candle in the Wind” ready for release. Then, when he had arrived at his home at long last, he was overwhelmed with grief.

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He rationalized it in the book by saying, “I’d had a job to do, and how I felt about Diana’s death might have interfered with my ability to do it.” He also said he had felt unable to show emotion all day.


The Single’s Success

Regrettably, “Candle in the Wind” continued to haunt Elton long after the incident had passed. When the single had been out for a while, “I started feeling really uncomfortable with it,” he wrote.

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Owing to its popularity, Top of the Pops often aired coverage of Diana’s funeral. It was as if the level of grief over her passing had reached an unhealthy extreme. Despite the song’s widespread success, Elton has always avoided including it on his greatest hits CDs out of respect for Princess Diana.


Ending His Misery

He wanted to put an end to his misery. That’s why when he was asked to talk about the funeral on The Oprah Winfrey Show, he politely declined to discuss it. In addition to this, he came to a conclusion that “Candle in the Wind” would never be released again.

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He didn’t want to discuss it any longer, not because he wanted to put it behind his mind or because he desired to forget about Diana, but rather because he wished to get his life back.


The Royal Celebration

After Diana’s death, Elton disclosed information about the “surreal” royal celebration where he had previously encountered Diana. Because Her Majesty the Queen was present, and in order to show respect to the reigning monarch, the disco music was turned down to almost as low as it was possible to go without completely turning it off.

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He mentioned in his book, “You could literally hear your feet moving around on the floor over the music.”


Dance With The Royal Princess

During the course of the party, Elton interacted with many members of the royal family, including the Queen. He added that Princess Anne had requested him to dance with her to the tune of Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog.”

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Despite the fact that he danced with her, he was extremely cautious about his moves since he did not want to create any noises that would wash out the beat. After that, the Queen walked there with a purse and even wondered whether or not she could partake in the festivities.


Putting On A Show

Elton danced together with Princess Anne and the Queen–who was still carrying her handbag, at the disco. This disco was the quietest Bill Haley had ever performed. Elton kept his dancing as subtle as possible, acting as casual as he could be.

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He stated that despite how challenging it might have appeared, he did his best to present himself with visual cues that gave the impression that this was a completely normal situation.


Invigorating Attitude

Diana’s remarkable interpersonal abilities enabled her to engage with everyone, and as a result, she was a welcome relief to have around during that uncomfortable scenario. 

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As Elton explained in Me, “Anyway, that night in 1981, [Diana] arrived in the ballroom, and we immediately clicked.” He further stated in his book, “We ended up pretending to dance the Charleston while hooting at the disco’s feebleness.” With that, the two began a long and primarily fond relationship with one another. However, there were also occasional arguments on the side.


A Little Mudslinging About The Queen

In his book, Elton told a tale about the Queen that was rather astonishing. She was the subject of the narrative. As stated in the story, he was present when she smacked another member of the royal family.

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The singer noted that the Queen could sometimes be hilarious in private. John also quipped, “At another party, I saw her approach Viscount Linley and ask him to look in on his sister, who’d been taken ill and had retired to her room.”


Directing A Member Of Her Family

Considering Elton’s viewpoint, the Queen was not particularly pleased with the response given by the viscount. “When he continually tried to fob her, the Queen lightly slapped him across the face, saying ‘Don’t’ — SLAP — ‘argue’ — SLAP — ‘with’ — SLAP — ‘me’ — SLAP — ‘I’ — SLAP — ‘am’ — SLAP — ‘THE QUEEN!” It was only natural for Elton to be caught by surprise by such a statement.

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“As [Viscount Linley] left, [the Queen] saw me staring at her, gave me a wink, and walked off,” he stated.


Sense Of Belonging

Elton can’t help but think that he was just as perplexed as everyone else about how he had managed to network with such prominent people, and he can’t help but assume that others were similarly puzzled.

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He wrote that “No matter how funny or normal the royal family seemed — whether they were asking me if I’d done any coke before I went on stage as Princess Alexandra once did, or winking at me after slapping a nephew across the face — there’d inevitably come a moment where I’d find myself thinking, ‘This is just bizarre. I’m a musician from a council house on Pinner Road. What am I doing here?’”


Diana’s Uniqueness

Elton continued by saying that Diana stood out from the rest of her family in a number of ways. One of the qualities he admired most about her was what he called her “incredible social ease,” which is the ability to make other individuals feel altogether comfy when they are in her presence.

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Elton added that her children, most notably Prince Harry, had followed in his mum’s footsteps. Formality and grandeur are not things that fascinate him in the least.


Modifying Social Mindset

Elton proceeded to say, “That famous photo of her holding an AIDS patient’s hand at the London Middlesex Hospital — that was Diana. ” He continued by affirming that although it was clear that she was attempting to make a significant point, he did not believe it was her primary goal.

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She revolutionized how people thought about AIDS for good. She had just encountered someone who was suffering and dying in excruciating pain. So why wouldn’t you try to touch them when you’re so close? It’s an intuitive part of being human to make others feel better.


Diana As Party Guest

Continuing his effusive praise for Diana, Elton called her “fabulous company — the best dinner party guest” in his book. He genuinely loved how Diana had made an impression on everyone around her, particularly on his own life.

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But even more on straight men, who tended to utterly lose their minds when they were in her presence. And in order to demonstrate his argument, the pop artist related a story that involves quite a few well-known people.


Lion King Get Together

David Furnish, Elton’s caring husband, had allegedly tossed a party during the filming of the original Lion King film. The couple overcompensated for the small guest list by inviting Princess Diana and a slew of celebrities, including George Michael, Sylvester Stallone, Richard Curtis, Richard Gere, and Emma Freud.

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They also invited Jeffrey Katzenberg, who was the CEO of Disney, and his beautiful wife. But as everyone was mingling and having a good time, the strangest scene developed.


Knowing Richard Gere

At a certain point during the party, Richard Gere became linked with Diana, and she gave the idea that she was also attracted to him. Elton also revealed that the two were unmarried at that time because Diana’s relationship with Charles had broken down, and Richard’s marriage to Cindy Crawford had ended by that point.

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Elton John revealed, “They ended up sitting in front of the fireplace together, locked in rapt conversation.”


Sly’s Resentment

However, there was another person at the gathering who did not appear to enjoy the talk. Elton continued his story, “As the rest of us chatted, I couldn’t help but notice that there was an odd atmosphere in the room.”

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It was obvious, based on the gestures and glances Sylvester Stallone was giving Diana and Richard Gere, that Stallone was not in favor of the formation of a bond between Diana and Richard Gere. The scene was something that Stallone could not accept in any way, shape, or form.


A Scenario Unfolds

Elton hypothesized, “I think [Stallone] may have turned up to the party with the express intention of picking Diana up — only to find his plans for the evening ruined.” According to the musician, an even more disagreeable circumstance would emerge later on in the night.

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When supper was served, it appeared that Sylvester Stallone, concurrently with Richard Gere, had left the room for some reason that they were not aware of, so Furnish began looking for them.


Celebrity Brawls

Upon his return, Elton John’s husband said there was “a situation.” According to the rumors, Gere and Stallone were allegedly going to get into a physical fight involving Princess Diana when Furnish caught them! Sharing food together did nothing to ease the tension in the situation. 

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Diana and Richard Gere continued their talk where they had left it, in front of the fireplace. Seeing this, Sylvester stormed off, huffing and puffing. It is impressive how Elton recounted the events in his book. 


Stallone Left In A Fury

Elton additionally asserted that Sylvester Stallone had declared, “I never would have come if I’d known Prince… Charming was gonna be here. If I’d wanted her, I would’ve taken her!” After Sylvester Stallone’s car had driven away, reports state that the guitarist and Furnish burst out laughing as a result of this outburst. 

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As for Diana, well, according to what Elton saw, she appeared completely unbothered by the controversy.


Diana’s Effect

The seasoned performer mused, “Maybe [Diana] hadn’t realized what was happening. Or maybe stuff like that happened all the time, and she was used to it.”  After her passing, many people talked about the “Diana Effect,”  owing to the way she was able to change the public’s attitudes toward the British monarchy as well as AIDS, bulimia, and mental health.

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However, when Elton John reflected on that night, he always thought of it as a particularly memorable experience because, to him, it’s the “Diana Effect”.


The Spark Of Their Dispute

Subsequently, along the pages of his book, Elton talks about the episode that drove a wedge between him and Diana and how it led to their separation. “She was a very dear friend for years, and then, completely unexpectedly, we fell out,” he wrote. 

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Their disagreement was sparked by Gianni Versace’s book, titled Rock and Royalty, in which Diana and Elton negotiated that the earnings from the book would be donated to the AIDS Charity in exchange for her contribution of a written foreword to the volume.


Diana’s Change Of Heart

On the other hand, the artist stated that Diana had suddenly “got cold feet,” changed her mind, and decided to withdraw her support for the project. That was perfectly reasonable.

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He continued by stating, “I think 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.” Since then, their friendship has gone through a challenging time.


She Was Clueless

Elton continued by saying, “At the last moment, Diana withdrew her foreword. She said she had no idea of the book’s contents, which just wasn’t true.” The book in question contained many such pictures.

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The book is a product of Elton and Gianni’s combined efforts as authors. Diana’s friend was not impressed by this abrupt shift of heart, and he opted to inform her so. Gianni Versace had shown her the entire thing, and she had said that she loved it.


An Authoritative Correspondence 

Elton recounts the issue in his autobiography, stating, “I wrote back to [Diana], calling her out, telling her how much money she had cost the AIDS Foundation, and reminding her that she had seen the book.”

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But Princess Diana was not one to joke around. It was clear that the friendship was on the verge of crumbling after “the letter I got back was very formal and severe: “Dear Mr. John…'”


The Princess Became Distant

Despite the fact that Elton and Diana were having issues with one another, the musician couldn’t help but be worried about his long-lost friend. In his biography, he said he had had a feeling that something wasn’t right but wasn’t sure what it was. 

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According to John’s recollection, “She seemed to be losing touch with all sorts of really close friends who would be honest with her and surrounding herself instead with people who told her what she wanted to hear. I knew from personal experience [that] that wasn’t a healthy situation.”


Diana Contacted Him

Nonetheless, after Versace passed away, Diana sought out her longtime friend to see how he was doing, and Elton would never forget how kind Diana had been to him at that moment. 

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According to Elton, “I didn’t speak to [Diana] again until the day Gianni was murdered. I don’t even know how she got hold of the number; we hadn’t had the house in Nice for long. She was just down the coast, in St. Tropez, on Dodi Fayed’s yacht.”


The Reconciliation

Elton said, “She asked how I was if I’d spoken to Donatella [Versace’s sister]. Then she uttered the words, ‘I’m so sorry. It was a silly falling-out. Let’s be friends.” She attended the funeral with Elton and looked absolutely stunning the whole time. 

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The assertive paparazzi inside the church flew into a frenzy the moment she entered through the doors. It was as if the most famous celebrity in the world had suddenly appeared, which ”I suppose she was.” Elton remarked.


A Well-Known Snapshot

This is a well-known picture of Princess Diana and Elton from the funeral, where Diana appears to be reaching out to obtain something from him when in fact, she was just reaching out for a mint. Unfortunately, the photo was taken at an awkward angle. 

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“I feel I should point out that the famous shot they got of her supposedly consoling me — where she’s leaning forward towards me, speaking, while I’m red-eyed and glazed with grief — is one moment in the service where she wasn’t doing anything of the sort.” 


Indefinitely Lost Communication

In the end, Elton revealed the last occasion he spoke to Diana. After the funeral, he wrote her a letter of gratitude; in response, “She offered to be a patron of the AIDS Foundation and asked if he would become involved with her landmine charity.”

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There had been plans for them to have lunch together the next time they both visited London to talk about it. Unfortunately, there was no second chance for the two to meet after Diana’s horrific vehicle accident.


His Love for Her

The way the pop star describes the princess, it’s clear he still has a lot of respect and love for the princess. Elton remarked of Diana in an interview on the British talk show Lorraine in 2018: “She was very much loved. She was a controversial figure in some respects — but not to me.”

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Elton admired her because she was such a wonderful friend and because she had done so much to combat AIDS. They may have had several disagreements, but they managed to reconcile in the end.


Secret Love?

The wonderful connection, which obviously was extremely significant to Elton, came to an end, and it was a heartbreaking experience all around. And this wasn’t the first occasion he’d had to face the grief of losing a close companion.

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Another one of the music star’s close friends, a certain John Lennon, had also left this world too soon. On the other hand, if one is to trust what Elton had to say, the two might have been much more than simple friends.