Westminster Abbey originally expected Elton John to sing Your Song at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, rather than Goodbye England’s Rose, his rework of Candle in the Wind, which features newly released records.
An early draft commission included the lyrics of Your Song, although it was incorrectly called Our Song. A second draft made by the Dean of Westminster Abbey, Dr. Wesley Carr, sent to Buckingham Palace for approval, replaced Candle in the Wind.
In the draft, Carr said that âboldnessâ, the âunexpectedâ and âsomething of the modern worldâ should be included and suggested âanything classical or chant (even if a popular classic like something from [Andrew] Lloyd Webber) is inappropriate â.
Something from John, a favorite of Dianas and âfolk culture at its finest,â wrote the dean would be better, adding: âIf the words were too sentimental (although that is by no means bad given the national mood) they don’t have to be printed – just sung . “
John previously said that he and his songwriting partner Bernie Taupin redesigned Candle in the Wind at the suggestion of Richard Branson. It became the second largest physical single of all time after Bing Crosby’s White Christmas, selling 33 million copies.
The circumstances of Diana’s death raised concerns within No. 10 that Tony Blair could be induced to publicly address the “sensitive” area of ââprivacy and media intrusion of Jacques Chirac, as the National Archives documents show.
In a phone call with Blair, then French President Chirac suggested “tightening data protection law,” which led Downing Street officials to instruct the Foreign Office to warn them if it emerged that the French were making an announcement about this Wanted to make topic.
Chirac told Blair that Diana and Dodi Fayed’s deaths in a car accident after being chased by paparazzi “challenged the entire media intrusion problem and he suggested that it be done”. [Blair] that they are considering a tightening of the existing data protection laws â, it says in a letter No. 10 to the Foreign Office.
The Prime Minister “agreed that public opinion would rise but made (deliberately) no obligation to look at UK data protection laws,” wrote Blair’s private secretary Angus Lapsley. But if the French government made such an announcement, “it would pose a sensitive issue in dealing with the UK government’s stance on media intrusion,” the letter continued.
“The Prime Minister would therefore be grateful if you could endeavor to warn us as early as possible of any signs that the French are indeed about to make an announcement.”
Downing Street’s view was that stricter legislation was not the answer and that the greatest impact would come from a change of heart of the media itself, as briefing documents from the National Archives show.
Downing Street was also relieved when Hillary Clinton, the first lady at the time, changed her mind about attacks on the media at a press conference in London prior to the funeral. Blair’s chief of staff, Jonathan Powell, wrote to press officer Alastair Campbell, who scribbled âgoodâ on the memo: “Your personal inclination is to attack the press, but your co-workers prevent you from doing so.”
When the conspiracy theories about the involvement of British security and intelligence in the deaths persisted, Labor MP Lindsay Hoyle, who had tried unsuccessfully to ask questions on the matter, wrote to Blair asking him to make a public statement on the rumors .
Hoyle, then the newly elected MP from Chorley and now the Speaker of the House of Commons, was given a post-it note by an official to reply to no. The Foreign Office feared Hoyle would forward any response to the media and a public statement “out of the blue” by Blair would revitalize conspiracy theories, another memo showed.
Blair, advised by his private office to âbe clear and definitive,â wrote in a personal letter to Hoyle: âAny suggestion that any British official organization or department had anything to do with this tragic event is both. “Ridiculous and deeply stressful for those left behind.”
Before Diana’s funeral, Conservative leader William Hague called Blair unsuccessfully to postpone the referendum on Scottish decentralization as national mourning had suspended the election campaign. âThis inevitably means that the referendum campaigns will effectively stop and then only three days will remain for the Scottish campaign. This cannot be considered satisfactory in any way, âwrote Hague.