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Tuesday, February 24, 1998 Published at 17:25 GMT


Arise, Sir Elton!
image: [ Sir Elton John:
Sir Elton John: "A knighthood is the icing on the cake"

The British rock star Elton John has been knighted by the Queen in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Elton Hercules John became Sir Elton for his services to British pop music and his work in raising money for Aids charities.

After his investiture, he said "They don't come much bigger than this."

[ image:
"They don't come much bigger than this"
But the man who moved millions with his performance of Candle in the Wind at the funeral of Princess Diana is perhaps not as famous as he once thought. "Sir John Elton," announced the Lord Chamberlain as the rock star approached the Queen to be knighted.

Dressed for the occasion

Sir Elton, renowned for his flamboyant outfits, was soberly dressed in a formal suit. He took his parents and partner, David Furnish, to watch him kneel before the Queen and be dubbed on each shoulder with the investiture sword.

"I've had a long career and worked hard," he said outside the Palace. "But I think the turning point came in 1990 when I got sober and started to do some charity work, particularly for the Aids problem. A knighthood is the icing on the cake."

He said the Queen had apologised for interrupting his busy schedule.

"She said I must be terribly busy," headded. "But this is not the sort of thing you put off. I flew back from LA yesterday and I'm going to Australia on Thursday, but there was no way I would miss this."

From suburbia to stardom

Born Reginald Dwight in the north London suburb of Pinner, Sir Elton's extravangant lifestyle and moving ballads have made him one of the world's most enduring rock acts.

[ image: The singer moved millions at Princess Diana's funeral]
The singer moved millions at Princess Diana's funeral
His emotional performance of his re-written "Candle in the Wind" sold 33 million copies making it the world's top-selling single and has raised £20m ($33.4m) for Diana's memorial fund.

Other hits include "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road", "Song for Guy" and "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues".

Holding up the knighthood insignia, he said: "I love my country and to be recognised in such a way - I can't think of anything better."

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Elton John Aids Foundation

Hear 'Candle in the Wind' on the BBC's Diana Remembered site

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