The Surprising Thing Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Said About Elton John

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex gave their longtime friend a royal shoutout before he played his last ever concert in the U.S.

It was Elton John’s last ever live performance in the United States before he’s set to officially retire—and he truly got a royal sendoff!

On Nov. 20, after playing 189 concert dates around North America for his “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour, John sat down at the piano in the U.S. one last time at Dodger Stadium in L.A. The celebs came out in droves to catch the stadium show: Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney, Taron Egerton and Jude Law were just a few of the stars watching the concert, which also featured performances by Dua Lipa, Brandi Carlile and Kiki Dee.

But it was a recorded appearance by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, aka the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, that aired before the concert live-streamed globally on Disney+ that got fans the most excited. The couple taped a special message of support for the Rocketman, thanking him for both his years of entertainment and friendship.

What did Prince Harry and Meghan Markle say about Elton John?

“Hi, Elton! We just wanted to say congratulations,” Meghan Markle said at the beginning of the message. “And that we are so proud of you, we’re so grateful that we were able to see you on your farewell tour also.”

“And thank you for entertaining everyone for so many decades,” Harry chimed in. “And thank you for being the friend that you were to my mum, thank you for being our friend, thank you for being a friend to our kids, thank you for entertaining people right around the world.”

Prince Harry continued, “Even though this is officially your retirement, this will not be your last gig, we know that. We love you, and congratulations on an incredible career.”

Elton John and Princess Diana’s friendship

Elton John and Princess Diana had a close friendship of many years, after first meeting in 1981. In his memoir, John recalled that she instantly made him feel secure when they met. “She was blessed with an incredible social ease, an ability to make people feel totally comfortable in her company,” he wrote. The fast friends would both go on to raise millions of money for AIDS research, Diana through her charities and Elton John through his AIDS Foundation. Despite a brief falling out in 1997, the two reconciled when their mutual friend Gianni Versace was shot and killed, just six weeks before Diana’s own death from a car crash.

After Diana’s death, John continued to be a friend to the royal family, particularly to Diana’s two sons Harry and William. When Harry was honored in TIME‘s 2018 100 Most Influential People list, it was Elton John that wrote a passage praising the prince.

“I first met an extremely shy and sweet Prince Harry at a private lunch at Kensington Palace, given by his mother Princess Diana for Gianni Versace and me many years ago,” John said. “What a joy it has been to see that young boy grow to inherit his mother’s warmth, sense of humor and courage to stand up and champion the causes he truly believes in.”

Here’s hoping we’ll see more of his sweet friendship with the royal family in the years to come!

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Gillian Telling
Gillian Telling is a New York-based entertainment journalist who, for the past 15 years, has covered the entire spectrum of pop culture as a writer and editor for publications like Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and People. She's interviewed hundreds of celebrities throughout her career, ranging from Alex Trebek to Jennifer Lawrence, and prides herself on being the first person to ever declare that Schitt's Creek was an amazing new show. (Five years before everyone else caught on!) She's also a published author, whose 2010 humor book Dirty Girls was optioned by ABC in 2012.