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Last Updated: Monday, 25 April, 2005, 10:30 GMT 11:30 UK
Sir Elton planning to wed partner
Sir Elton John and partner David Furnish
Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish plan to wed in December
Sir Elton John has told a newspaper that he plans to marry partner David Furnish before Christmas.

"Meeting David has been the greatest thing to happen to me," Sir Elton told the Mirror. Gay civil partnerships become legal in England on 5 December.

Sir Elton's spokesman confirmed that the couple hoped to have a civil partnership ceremony, but that "it may not be until next year".

Sir Elton, 58, and Furnish, 42, have been together for 11 years.

Spokesman Gary Farrow said: "A date and venue has not been set, so it may not be until next year."

The Mirror quoted singer Sir Elton as saying: "We definitely want to do it about the middle of December, probably in Windsor."

Sir Elton told the newspaper his busy schedule meant the celebrations would be relatively short. He said: "There will be no honeymoon. I'm on tour."

The pair first met in 1993 when a mutual friend invited Canadian film producer Mr Furnish to dinner with Sir Elton.

Positive influence

Sir Elton has credited Mr Furnish with helping him overcome the drink and drug addictions which nearly killed him.

Busy schedules mean the couple spend long periods apart. Last month, a website claimed they were splitting up, leading Mr Furnish to issue a statement saying they had "never been happier".

Sir Elton previously married German music engineer Renate Blauel in 1984. The couple divorced in 1987.

Gay civil partnerships are being recognised in the UK to give couples more rights in line with heterosexual couples.

Registration will be available only to homosexuals and not as an alternative to heterosexual marriage.

The partnerships will allow gays to benefit from a dead partner's pension, grant next-of-kin rights in hospitals and exempt them from inheritance tax on a partner's home.

Partners will also be able to dissolve the agreement in a form of divorce.

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