Buckingham Palace did not want Sir Elton John to sing at Princess Diana funeral, newly released papers show

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The Dean of Westminster had to send a personal plea to Buckingham Palace in 1997, in an effort to get Sir Elton John to perform at Diana, Princess Of Wales’ funeral, newly released government documents show.

John’s performance of his newly re-written Candle In The Wind, is one of the most memorable parts of the service, with the track going on to sell 33 million copies around the world.

But it nearly never happened.

As part of a freshly released set of government papers by the National Archives, it appears there was resistance in the royal household to the idea, with concerns that the new lyrics to the song were “too sentimental”.

Westminster Abbey had to even put a solo saxophonist on standby to perform the song, just in case the palace refused to allow John to perform, though it was considered to be a “very second best shot”.

The Very Rev Dr Wesley Carr managed to argue that allowing Sir Elton John to perform the song would be an “imaginative and generous” gesture to the public, who were largely seen to have turned on the royals in the days following her death, with widespread anger at their perceived indifference over the tragedy.

Photo – A person places their hand on a picture of Princess Diana, placed on the gates of Kensington Palace in London, Britain, 30 August 2017. EPA-EFE/ANDY RAIN

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