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Take That

February 28, 2023

Whoever got up first made the coffee and brought two cups back to bed. I was the first up that morning in 1997 – the morning after the news revealed that the previous night Diana, former Princess of Wales, had died of injuries sustained in a car accident in Paris. As I was steaming the milk for the cappuccinos a line from a song popped into my head. “It seems to me you lived your life like a candle in the wind.” 

It seems I wasn’t the only one who thought of that Elton John song. Within days he’d worked with Bernie Taupin to mawkishly rewrite the lyrics and then recorded a “Goodbye, England’s Rose” version which would quickly become the bestselling UK single ever and which he would perform at her funeral.

Doesn’t he look young? (Well, it was 25 years ago.)

So it made me laugh yesterday when I heard that Elton John had declined an invitation to perform at the coronation concert in May for Diana’s ex-husband. 

If there was one thing I didn’t need to be told when I was (somewhat to my surprise) reading Harry’s book Spare, it’s to take media stories about the royal family with a very large grain of salt. Whether in the newspapers or on the internet. According to this story posted on some unverifiable website, Elton John was the number one choice of Charles to appear at his concert.

Really? If that is actually true, the new king is clearly tone deaf. On what planet does he think Elton John would ever perform for him and his consort – the two people who’d made life a misery for England’s Rose? The official reason given by the singer for declining the invitation was prior commitments. Was there any prior commitment that could have prevented Elton John from singing at that funeral? No, there was not.

Prior commitments is also the reason given for declining invitations to perform by Adele, Harry Styles, Ed Sheeran, Robbie Williams and (really?) the Spice Girls. And perhaps in all these cases that is true. Perhaps not.

I don’t imagine Brian May will be turning up on the roof of Windsor Castle to play ‘God Save the King’.

So Charles and Camilla will just have to Take That (minus Robbie Williams) for their headliners.

That does make me smile. 

From → Columns

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