The musician Elton John has described the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as a historic moment that blazed a trail for the British royal family.
John told CNN that that the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was a “wonderful” occasion that also represented a cultural shift.
“It was very, very wonderful to be there. To have a black gospel choir, a multiracial bride, a black cellist, who was wonderful, a preacher – it felt like a party, and it felt like progress had been made. Thank god, thank god,” John told CNN.
John – who was a friend of the duke’s mother, the late Princess Diana – performed three songs for the newlyweds at an afternoon wedding reception hosted by the Queen at Windsor Castle’s St. George’s Hall in May.
“To be at the first multiracial royal wedding in Britain – amazing,” he added.
Asked whether it was historic, he said: “Oh absolutely. Are you kidding me? Yes, of course. You go back and watch The Crown and things like that, and in the 1950s Princess Margaret wasn’t allowed to get married (to Group Captain Peter Townsend) because he was divorced. Look how far we have come in that respect.”
John spoke to CNN at the 2018 International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam, where he joined Prince Harry in announcing the launch of the MenStar Coalition project, a billion dollar global partnership. The coalition’s first initiative will be to launch a new HIV self-testing campaign aimed at young men in Kenya.
John and his husband David Furnish, chairman of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, said the wedding was a sign of how far the monarchy has come.
“I think the Queen had a lot to do with it. I think she’s been magnificent,” John said. “It was a wonderful thing to be at.”
“What was so inspiring, and it sounds corny, but, true love is what really shone through and that’s what everybody felt, the sincerity and the integrity of that true love on the day. And it shows that institutions like the monarchy can evolve with the times,” Furnish added.