Among the many tributes emerging after the announcement of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II came some from the world of music.
Sir Elton John, long associated with the royal family through his friendship with Lady Diana, paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II during his concert in Toronto on Thursday, before dedicating his hit Don’t Let The Sun (Go Down On Me) shortly afterwards.
“’I feel very sad that she won’t be there with me any more, but I’m glad she’s at peace, I’m glad she’s at rest. And she deserves it. She’s worked bloody hard … her spirit lives on and we celebrate her life tonight with music,’ he said during his performance.
Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney also paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II with a short, poignant post on his website that simply reads “God bless Queen Elizabeth II. May she rest in peace. Long live The King"
Throughout her life, her involvement in the nation’s musical life was reflected in the positions Her Majesty appointed, musical honours she awarded regularly, her patronage of music and music institutions, and her regular attendance at concerts and other classical music events.
From a young age, Queen Elizabeth II was immersed in music, learning to play the piano at the age of 11, however unlike her sister Princess Margaret who continued to play the piano, it was the love of the outdoors and animals that became the Queen’s personal passion.
What kind of music did Queen Elizabeth II enjoy listening to?
Though perhaps the orchestral overtures that followed Queen Elizabeth II during official parades would give the impression that Her Majesty was a fan of classical music, family members revealed during a BBC 2 documentary that her tastes were actually rather varied.
The Beatles, for example, performed in front of Queen Elizabeth at the 1963 Royal Variety Performance on November 4 1963 - almost three months before the Fab Four’s iconic performance on The Ed Sullivan Show.
Scottish Fiddler Paul Anderson, talking to Sky News, discussed how Queen Elizabeth II had a keen ear for music, and during the times he performed for her mentioned that she was a fan of Lament for King George V - the Queen’s grandfather.
The Queen also had an admiration for the Bagpipes, employing a Piper to the Sovereign who would act as an alarm clock for the Queen under her bedroom window each morning to wake Her Majesty.
Current Pipe Master Paul Burns, talking to Sky News, mentioned that the Queen had a good ear for the Bagpipes and knew when there would be a pipe out of tune.
What were Queen Elizabeth II’s favourite songs?
In a BBC 2 broadcast on July 12 2016 titled Our Queen: 90 Musical Years, her family members revealed ten of her favourite songs, which the programme’s presenter, Eve Pollard, described as "mainstream, no airs and graces."
The ten tracks demonstrate the Queen’s love of show tunes and musicals predominantly - with Time Magazine reporting that it was during the opening of Oklahoma! at the Drury Lane Theatre in 1947 that her future husband, Prince Philip, accompanied Queen Elizabeth’s family and their relationship blossomed shortly thereafter.
- Oklahoma! by Howard Keel
- Anything You Can Do (Annie Get Your Gun) by Dolores Gray and Bill Johnson
- Sing by Gary Barlow and the Commonwealth Band featuring the Military Wives
- Cheek to Cheek by Fred Astaire
- The White Cliffs Of Dover by Vera Lynn
- Leaning on a Lamp-post by George Formby
- Praise, My Soul, The King Of Heaven (hymn)
- The Lord is My Shepherd (hymn)
- Lester Lanin Medley
- Regimental March Milanollo