A Jolly Good Time: Elton John, 19-Year-Old Cellist Serenade Star-Studded Royal Wedding

Elton John
Chris Jackson / Getty Images
– Elton John
Sir Elton John and James Blunt after the wedding of Prince Harry to Ms Meghan Markle at St George

Elton John serenaded about 600 guests at the private post-nuptial luncheon following the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who are now Duke and Duchess of Sussex, where Sir Elton Hercules John CBE reportedly performed “Tiny Dancer,” “Circle of Life,” “Your Song” and “I’m Still Standing.”

The luncheon was hosted by the queen mum herself, Elizabeth II.
In the most official manner, Kensington Palace confirmed that Sir Elton did indeed perform, issuing the following statement:
“Sir Elton John has performed at the Lunchtime Reception for guests celebrating the Wedding of Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle.
Prince Harry asked Sir Elton to perform at the Reception which was hosted by Her Majesty The Queen at St George’s Hall, Windsor Castle.

Sir Elton performed for the newly married couple in recognition of the close connection he has with Prince Harry and his family. “

Sir Elton of course was a close friend of Prince Harry and William’s mother, Princess Diana, and performed a touching rendition of “Candle In The Wind” at her funeral in 1997. Sir Elton’s appearance at the nuptials wasn’t a complete surprise as he had rescheduled a few of his Las Vegas residency dates to a scheduling conflict, although the performance wasn’t a given.  “Tiny Dancer” was notable for including the line “L.A.” lady,” which was taken as a nod to the new bride’s acting career. 
Speculation ran rampant before the wedding, as at least a few Spice Girls were known to be in attendance and rumors that they may perform, as well as rumors that Ed Sheeran or other British superstars may take the mic at some point. 
During the televised reception on Saturday, attendees as well as the viewing public was treated after the big “I do” to a performance by cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who in 2016 won the BBC Young Musician of the Year Award and just got a very public appearance under his belt.
Kanneh-Mason was personally asked by the bride and groom to perform at their wedding, where the 19-year-old took centre stage for the all-important signing of the register and performed three pieces accompanied by orchestra to a global audience estimated to be as high as 3 billion: “Sicilienne” by von Paradis, Schubert’s “Ave Maria,” and “Après Un Rêve” by Fauré. 
“It was such an awesome moment – just really incredible to perform for Prince Harry and Meghan at their wedding,” Kanneh-Mason said.  “ The atmosphere was amazing and I’m proud to have played a small part in the celebrations. It’s a day I will remember for the rest of my life.” 
In the past few years, Kanneh-Mason has performed twice at the BAFTAs, played at 10 Downing Street for the 30th anniversary of Black History Month, making his Carnegie Hall debut, performed at Paris Fashion Week, as well as high-profile TV appearances (including two BBC documentaries) and other concerts.
The event also featured Welsh soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, who in 2012 performed at the London Paralympics opening ceremony.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>I’m thrilled to have been asked to sing at such a momentous occasion. It’s always an honour to be invited to be a part of a wedding, and getting to share in a couple’s big day is very special. Good luck to everyone with the preparations! <a href=”https://t.co/lqfQKpwwNQ”>https://t.co/lqfQKpwwNQ</a></p>&mdash; Elin Manahan Thomas (@elin_manahan) <a href=”https://twitter.com/elin_manahan/status/988781380061581312?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>April 24, 2018</a></blockquote>
<script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>
Decca Records has somehow already released the recording of the entire wedding reception featuring Kanneh-Mason’s performances, available on streaming services as of this morning and will shortly be available in all physical formats, including vinyl — and even cassette. Sir Elton’s private performance is not included, however, on the 27-track LP. 
Far from a normal gig, it’s somewhat of a mystery of how any musical performances come together for such an event. Ellie Goulding stepped in to perform at the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, where she sang Elton John’s “Your Song” among others. 
People involved in Goulding’s Royal Wedding performance told Pollstar they are unable to comment on that show as non-disclosure agreements were required.
Celebrities descending upon Windsor Castle for the holy matrimony this time included George Clooney and (British) wife Amal Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, American tennis superstar Serena Williams, actor Idris Elba, soccer superstar David Beckham and former Spice Girl wife Victoria, James Blunt, Joss Stone, and Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons. 
However, not all the guests were the rich and famous, including one girl, aged 12, named Amelia who is a survivor of the May 22 terror attack that followed Ariana Grande’s show at Manchester Arena. Her mother, Lisa Thompson, who had taken her to the concert, nominated her after learning that Prince Harry and Meghan were interested in having community leaders attend. 
Then came the email saying Amelia had been selected.
“I started reading it and thought it was fake,” Amelia told CBC news, Canada’s public broadcaster. “I was just saying to my mom, ‘This isn’t real. This can’t be real.'”  Now raising money for victims of the horrific attack, Amelia says she has been inspired by Prince Harry and Williams’ ability to handle with the loss of their mother at a young age. 
“He was open about his mum, which is why it kind of made me feel a bit more open about my feelings and how I might feel in life after the bombing,” she said, according to CBC.