Why Elton John Says the Mourning for Princess Diana ‘Got out of Hand’

When Princess Diana passed away in a tragic car accident on August 31, 1997, it left the world completely devastated. People flooded the streets and tried to find a way to cope with the loss of this unique and great icon. She changed the Royal Family and captured our hearts with her likability and clear drive to help others. Her loss wasn’t just something people could simply get over. It was a long and drawn-out process for many.

Elton John recalls Princess Diana’s funeral

Princess Diana
Princess Diana | David Levenson/Getty Images

Elton John believed the mourning actually “got out of hand.” He revealed the new details in his autobiography, Me: Elton John. The Daily Mail released excerpts of the new work. Elton actually recorded a special version of Candle in the Wind, which he went on to play at Princess Diana’s funeral in remembrance.

He was worried he might sing the wrong version of the song when the time came and he had to get up there during such an important moment. “I’d performed Candle in The Wind hundreds of times. It wasn’t beyond the realms of possibility that I might lose myself in the performance, forget about the teleprompter and start singing the original lyrics,” Elton wrote. “How bad would it be if I did that? Appalling. Huge chunks of the lyrics were completely inappropriate for the occasion.”

The new single was very popular with fans

Sir Elton John at Princess Diana's funeral
Sir Elton John sings ‘Candle in the Wind’ at the funeral of Princess Diana | Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

Elton John doesn’t remember much about the performance at Diana’s funeral but he wrote that he does remember the applause afterward. The new version of the song was a huge hit with people everywhere.

“The funeral version of Candle in The Wind became the biggest-selling single since the charts began. There was part of me that couldn’t understand why anyone would want to listen to it,” Elton wrote. “Under what circumstances would you play it? I never did. I listened back to it once at the studio to OK the mix and that was it: never again.”

The mourning for Princess Diana ‘got out of hand’

Elton John started to feel “uncomfortable” with all the attention the song was getting. “In the end, I started feeling really uncomfortable with the single’s longevity,” wrote John. “Its success meant there was footage of Diana’s funeral week after week on Top Of The Pops — it almost felt like wallowing in her death, as if the mourning for her had got out of hand. I really didn’t think that was what Diana would have wanted. And I didn’t want to do anything to prolong it any further.”

Princess Diana’s death was completely unexpected

Princess Diana
Princess Diana | John Shelley Collection/Avalon/Getty Images

Princess Diana’s death hit the nation and the world hard. No one was prepared for such a popular figurehead in the Royal Family to be snatched from life so soon and in such a terrible way. It was entirely unexpected and shocked everyone throughout the world. It’s what prompted many people to believe the conspiracy theories floating around about whether Diana was purposefully killed in a planned hit.

Princess Diana’s legacy lives on in the people who knew her and idolized her. Her children, Prince William and Prince Harry, have picked up the gauntlet dropped by Diana at the time of her death. They carry on her good works and her memory.