George Michael Once Turned Down a Young Prince William’s Request to Sing
It’s been nearly four years since beloved singer George Michael passed away, and a mural of him was recently unveiled near his home in London. During his career, Michael graced our ears when he was with Wham! and later as a solo artist.
A gifted singer and songwriter, he was one of Princess Diana’s favorites and a young Prince William liked his music too. However, there was one occasion when Michael turned down the prince’s request to sing for him.
Princess Diana and George Michael were friends
The late princess counted a number of entertainers as her friends, including Michael Jackson, Elton John, and George Michael. Some of them were her close confidantes and she and Michael maintained a warm friendship.
In a 2011 interview with the Huffington Post, Michael spoke fondly of his relationship with Princess Diana. “I was invited to the Palace many, many times before I actually met with her because I was so afraid of the publicity if we did become friends,” he said.
“And when we did meet, I think we clicked in way that was a little bit intangible, and it probably had probably more to do with our upbringing than anything else.”
He sometimes hung out with her, visited her at the palace, and even had the chance to meet her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry.
Prince William asked George Michael to sing, but he said no
Years after Princess Diana’s death, George Michael recorded a song for Prince William’s royal wedding. He appeared on Piers Morgan Tonight in 2011 to discuss the song’s inspiration and to celebrate the royal couple’s nuptials.
During the interview, Michael spoke about the late princess and shared an anecdote about Prince William when he was a child.
“I was at a Christmas party that Diana invited me to at Kensington Palace, and the only other person I knew there was Elton [John],” said Michael. “William came up to me — the two of them came up to me — but William asked me. He said, ‘Would it be ok if you sang a song and maybe Uncle Elton could play the piano?’ And I just can’t deal with singing in front of small crowds.”
Michael added that he said no, and it was “excruciating,” and he couldn’t believe he turned down the future king of England. The reason? He explained he was too embarrassed to sing in front of strangers in such a small setting. He said that the prince was very polite about the whole thing though.
Prince William and Kate Middleton loved George Michael’s rendition
Michael chose to sing a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “You and I” as a gift for the royal couple and sent a snippet of his version to them.
They loved it, and Michael made the recording available for free download just in time for the wedding. He said Wonder generously waived the rights to the song too.
Fans were able to donate to the couple’s charities of choice, and that was something Michael was incredibly happy about. He said he was grateful to help raise money and for being able to share in Prince William and Kate’s big day.
He also told Morgan he felt that since Princess Diana was such a fan of his album Older, that she would’ve loved the meaning of this wedding song for her son.