Prince Harry reveals details of bitter clash with Elton John: ‘I loved him’

Prince Harry wears a white shirt and dark grey suit jacket as he sits next to Elton John, who is wearing a light purple jacket and dark shirt with floral patterning on it

Prince Harry has opened up about how he and his long-standing friend Elton John had a bitter disagreement in his newly released memoir. 

In his new memoir Spare – which hit bookshelves on Tuesday (10 January) – Prince Harry reflected on his close friendship with the singer and the times when Elton had been there for him. 

However, it appeared their relationship suffered a minor hiccup in recent years, with Harry detailing one instance that resulted in a tense disagreement between the royal and the singer. 

Prince Harry wrote that Elton John invited him and Meghan Markle to stay with the singer in France in 2019, when the couple felt they were “losing it”. 

Elton publicly defended Harry and Meghan amid their criticism of the British press. He tweeted that he was “deeply distressed” by the “distorted and malicious account in the press” concerning the couple staying at his home at the time. 

Harry recounted how the “best part of the visit” was watching Elton, his husband David Furnish and their two sons “fall in love with Archie”. 

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Yet, he said that he and Elton had a disagreement on the last night of the visit when it came out the musician planned to serialise his autobiography in the Daily Mail – a publication Harry and Meghan have taken legal action against previously

The prince said he felt he had no choice but to voice his concerns and ask why the multi-Grammy Award winner chose a publication, which he said made his life “miserable”. 

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Elton responded he “wanted people to read” the book, and Harry backed off because he didn’t want to “push” the matter any further. 

“I loved him. I’ll always love him. And I also didn’t want to spoil the holiday,” Harry added.

Prince Harry, wearing a suit and tie, shakes the hand of Elton John, who is wearing a dark suit with a black shirt, at a public event
Prince Harry asked Elton John to sing “Candle In The Wind” at the 10th anniversary memorial of Princess Diana, but the singer said it would be too “macabre”. (Getty)

Elton John was previously a close friend and confidant of the Duke of Sussex’s late mother, Princess Diana. The pop superstar famously performed an adapted version of “Candle in the Wind” at Diana’s funeral on 6 September 1997. 

Harry recalled in the memoir how the funeral began with a “series of readings and eulogies” before culminating in Elton’s performance. 

“He rose slowly, stiffly, as if he was one of the great kings buried for centuries beneath the abbey, suddenly roused back to life,” Harry wrote. “He walked to the front, seated himself at a grand piano.”

He continued: “Is there anyone who doesn’t know that he sang ‘Candle in the Wind’, a version he’d reworked for Mummy? 

“I can’t be sure the notes in my head are from that moment or from clips I’ve seen since. Possibly they’re vestiges of recurring nightmares.”

Prince Harry remembered “one pure, indisputable memory of the song climaxing” and his eyes “starting to sting” with “tears nearly falling”. 

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Elton John remained close to both Harry and his brother, Prince William, throughout the years. The “I’m Still Standing” singer performed at the wedding reception of Harry and Meghan in 2018. 

Elsewhere in the book, Harry revealed he asked Elton John to sing “Candle in the Wind” at the 10th anniversary memorial of his mother’s death. But the singer declined, fearing it would be too “macabre”. 

Instead, Elton opted to perform “Your Song” to celebrate Diana’s life and achievements, and Harry said the singer delivered the performance with a “twinkle and a smile, aglow with good memories”. 

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