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Tuesday, 26 February, 2002, 17:12 GMT
Hitting the right royal notes
The Spice Girls dispensed with royal etiquette
As the Queen prepares to host a pop concert to celebrate her Golden Jubilee, BBC News Online looks at whether royals have been rocking in the past.

Listening to rock and pop music are not usually among the refined pursuits associated with the Royal Family.

The Queen made The Beatles MBEs in 1965
The Queen's officials have stressed that Her Majesty is looking forward to the Jubilee concert featuring Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John and S Club 7 in Buckingham Palace's garden this summer.

But the monarch has never been known for her enthusiasm towards music, although she has met many of the biggest stars at concerts and ceremonies down the years.

When she made The Beatles MBEs at the height of Beatlemania in 1965, the Queen displayed her lack of knowledge by asking them how long they had been together, not questioning Ringo when he told her "40 years".

Paul McCartney - now a Sir - described her as "just like a mum to us" afterwards.

The Queen's sister, Princess Margaret, was more enthusiastic about the UK's musical scene during the "swinging" sixties.

Prince Charles tried his hand at DJing in 2001
She was a regular on the London party circuit, and while her first love was ballet, she formed friendships with The Beatles and was rumoured to have enjoyed flirtations with Rolling Stones star Mick Jagger.

The Princess was also a gifted pianist and soprano herself, and her cousin Lady Elizabeth Shakerley recently said that she could have carved out a musical career.

Prince Charles has also rubbed shoulders with many of today's biggest stars - first at events like Live Aid with Princess Diana in the 1980s and then through concerts and events for his Prince's Trust charity.

Royal etiquette went out of the window when he first encountered the Spice Girls, with Geri Halliwell pinching his bottom.

Diana's passion

He was obviously not too perturbed, sending her a hand-written note when she left the group, asking: "What will I do without your wonderfully friendly greeting?"

He has since been seen tried DJing and declared himself a fan of Catatonia and Tom Jones

Princess Diana's association with stars added to her glamour
Of all the royals, Princess Diana was best-known for her love of music.

Duran Duran were reported to be her favourite band, while her record collection also included albums by Dire Straits, Michael Jackson, Tina Turner and Chris de Burgh.

Her associations with stars helped fuel her glamorous image, and she famously shared dances with John Travolta at the White House and Wayne Sleep at the Royal Opera House.

She worked with George Michael on Aids charity projects for eight years and was close friends with Sir Elton John, who performed at her funeral.

Dance fans

After her death in 1997, stars from Boy George to Status Quo lined up to pay tribute to her, and Duran Duran described her as "a party girl".

Her sons, Princes William and Harry, have inherited her love of current music - and are both said to be fans of the biggest new style of their era, dance music.

Britney Spears e-mailed Prince William
Harry, now 17, is reported to have played pumping techno music in his Highgrove den - nicknamed Club H - so loud that it disturbed his father who would work upstairs.

Prince William's official biography says: "Like most teenagers, [he] likes pop music - particularly techno music - but also listens to classical."

The UK was bracing itself for the possibility of a Queen Britney after revelations that William had exchanged e-mails with pop singer Britney Spears - but a planned meeting between the two never took place.

Less credibly, he was seen singing karaoke to The Village People's hit YMCA at a pub two years ago.

But he is unlikely to follow the example of Princess Stephanie of Monaco, who launched a singing career in the 1980s, topped the charts in Europe and recently released a rap song called Hit the Chains.

See also:

24 Jan 02 | Showbiz
Britney: William stood me up
07 Jul 01 | Wales
Catatonia given Royal approval
09 Jul 01 | Music
Atomic hug for Prince Charles
06 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Charles meets pop divas
14 Aug 98 | Entertainment
Dear Geri... Love Charles
29 Aug 99 | Entertainment
Elton calls for Diana memorial
11 Nov 98 | Entertainment
Teens rock the palace
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