Dave Thompson - WPA Pool/Getty Elton John and Queen Elizabeth II
Following the news of the long-reigning monarch's death on Thursday, the "Your Song" singer paid tribute to her with a poignant statement on Instagram.
"Along with the rest of the nation, I am deeply saddened to hear the news of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's passing," John, 75, wrote. "She was an inspiring presence to be around and led the country through some of our greatest and darkest moments with grace, decency and a genuine caring warmth."
He concluded, "Queen Elizabeth has been a huge part of my life from childhood to this day, and I will miss her dearly."
Later that night, while performing in Toronto, Canada, John offered a second tribute to the late monarch, telling the crowd that she was "an inspiring person to be around."
"I've been around her and she was fantastic. She led the country though some of our greatest and darkest moments with grace, decency and a genuine care and warmth," John said. "I'm 75 — she's been with me all my life and I feel very sad that she won't be with me anymore."
He continued: "I'm glad she's at peace, and I'm glad she's at rest, and she deserves it because she's worked bloody hard. I send my love to her family and loved ones. She will be missed. Her spirit lives on and we celebrate her life tonight with music."
"Her Majesty said she hoped being here today didn't interfere too much with my arrangements," John told the AP at the time. "She said I must be terribly busy, but this is not the sort of thing you put off."
His knighthood came just months after the death of Lady Diana Spencer, a close friend of John's and the Queen's former daughter-in-law. John famously performed a tribute to her, "Candle in the Wind 1997," at her funeral.
Elizabeth, who was 96 and the longest-reigning monarch in British history, died "peacefully" Thursday at Balmoral, Buckingham Palace said in an official statement.
"The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow," the statement read.
Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Queen Elizabeth II
The news of Queen Elizabeth's death came with another history-making moment: She was succeeded immediately by her eldest son, King Charles, 73, who will now be the monarch. Charles' firstborn son, Prince William, 40, is next in line to the world's most famous throne, followed by his firstborn son, Prince George, 9. Elizabeth's death follows that of her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, who died at age 99 in June 2021.
"I cannot lead you into battle," the Queen, summing up her role in a 1957 Christmas broadcast, once told her subjects. "I do not give you laws or administer justice, but I can do something else: I can give my heart and my devotion to these old islands and to all the peoples of our brotherhood of nations."
Upon the Queen's passing, the United Kingdom — where she reigned for a record 70 years — was plunged into public mourning. Around the world, including in the other nations that called her the head of state or Sovereign, her death was grieved by those to whom she was an unwavering fixture amid the turmoil of ever-changing times.
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The Queen's death comes after a year of various health issues. In October 2021, she stepped out with a walking cane. The same month, she canceled a scheduled trip to Northern Ireland under medical advice from her doctors and spent a night in the hospital.
The Queen also decided not to appear at the Remembrance Day ceremony in November due to a sprained back and did not celebrate a traditional Christmas with the royal family at Sandringham, partially due to the uptick in COVID-19 cases around the holidays.
As for John, he recently released a collaboration with Britney Spears called "Hold Me Closer."
He's also been on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour for months and will continue performing into the next year. During an appearance on the Hits Radio Breakfast show with Fleur East Thursday, he shared he was taking a break once the tour wraps in July 2023.
"After next year when I finish in Stockholm, I'll go on a bit of a hiatus and figure out what I'm going to do next," he said.