Elton John shared another tribute to Queen Elizabeth II ahead of her funeral Monday, Sept. 19, writing on Instagram, “She served with grace and dedication, and she will sorely be missed.”
In the post, John recalled the various times he met the late monarch, like when he was honored with a CBE, a knighthood, and the Companion of Honour, or the performances he gave at three of her Jubilees. “They were always joyous and humbling experiences,” John said.
John’s favorite memories of Queen Elizabeth, however, took place “out of the public eye.” “Dancing together to ‘Rock Around the Clock’ at Windsor Castle or experiencing her great wit, warmth, and humour first hand.”
Following Queen Elizabeth’s death earlier this month, John dedicated a performance of his 1974 hit, “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down on Me,” to her at a show in Toronto on Sept. 8.
Before launching into the song, John called the late Queen “an inspiring presence to be around” and praised her leadership (even if it was largely symbolic): “She led the country through some of our greatest and darkest moments with grace and decency and genuine caring, and warmth,” he said.
John continued, “I’m 75, and she’s been with me all my life, and I feel very sad that she won’t be with me anymore, but I’m glad she’s at peace, and I’m glad she’s at rest, and she deserves it. She worked bloody hard. I send my love to her family and her loved ones, and she will be missed. But her spirit lives on. And we’ll celebrate her life tonight with music.”
John’s comments at his concert largely echoed a tribute he shared on social media not long after the Queen’s death was announced on Thursday. “Along with the rest of the nation, I am deeply saddened to hear the news of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s passing,” John wrote. “She was an inspiring presence to be around, and led the country through some of our greatest, and darkest, moments with grace, decency and a genuine caring warmth. Queen Elizabeth has been a huge part of my life from childhood to this day, and I will miss her dearly.”
Other British musicians who have honored Elizabeth include Ozzy Osbourne, Def Leppard, and Mick Jagger/the Rolling Stones.
This story was updated on 9/20/22 at 10:08 a.m. ET with Elton John’s tribute before the Queen’s funeral.