August 14, 2022

Image credit: The Times

Princess Diana: Files reveal plea for Elton John to perform at the funeral

According to newly revealed documents, the Dean of Westminster personally petitioned Buckingham Palace to have Sir Elton John play at Princess Diana’s funeral.

According to the Very Reverend Wesley Carr, doing so would be “imaginative and charitable” to the millions of people who are “personally grieving.”

In 1997, Diana’s friend Sir Elton sang a revised rendition of Candle in the Wind at her memorial ceremony.

However, documents from the National Archives indicate that a backup plan was in place.

Dean Wesley Carr stated in a memo to a senior member of the royal household that the song was being played “all the time” on the radio.

On August 31, 1997, Princess Diana died in a vehicle accident in Paris. Hundreds of thousands of bouquets were left at her Kensington Palace home following her death, which caused an extraordinary outpouring of public mourning.

Many people were enraged by what they viewed as the Royal Family’s disregard for the princess when she divorced Prince Charles and lost her HRH royal title.

Dean Carr, who was involved in the negotiations between the palace and Princess Diana’s family over the service, said at the time that being a part of her funeral was the most important thing he had ever done.

According to the archives, he considered Sir Elton an important part of that mix. The monastery had arranged for a young saxophone to be on standby to play a moving solo, despite the dean’s description of it as “a very second-best shot.”

Dean Carr, who died in 2017, Lt Col Ross later said that he was powerless to influence the soloist’s selection and that he had to decline opera singer Plácido Domingo’s offer to sing at the burial.

Sir Elton’s performance was one of the most poignant moments of the funeral, which was seen by hundreds of millions around the world. Rose, an Englishwoman, went on to sell 33 million copies worldwide.