08/10/2019 10:06 AM AEDT

Elton John Reveals He Once Saw Queen Elizabeth Jokingly Slap Her Nephew

The pop star tells about the queen's sense of humor in an excerpt from his forthcoming memoir "Me."

Elton John is a longtime friend of the royal family and he’s certainly seen some things ― including a particularly hilarious incident involving Queen Elizabeth II.

In an excerpt from his upcoming memoir “Me” published in the Daily Mail last week, John wrote about a funny royal moment in which the British monarch playfully slapped her disobeying nephew. 

“I know the Queen’s public image isn’t exactly one of wild frivolity, but I think that’s more to do with the nature of her job: she can’t exactly sit there cracking jokes during the State Opening of Parliament,” the pop star wrote. “But in private, she could be hilarious.”

He continued:

At another party, I saw her approach Viscount Linley and ask him to look in on his sister, who’d been taken ill and had retired to her room. 

When he repeatedly tried to fob her off, the Queen lightly slapped him across the face, saying ‘Don’t’ — SLAP — ‘argue’ — SLAP — ‘with’ — SLAP — ‘me’ — SLAP — ‘I’ — SLAP — ‘am’ — SLAP — ‘THE QUEEN!’

When the queen saw John starting, he wrote, Her Majesty “gave me a wink and walked off.” 

Talk about slapstick comedy. 

WPA Pool via Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth II speaking with Sir Elton John backstage after the Diamond Jubilee concert at Buckingham Palace on June 4, 2012 in London, England.

Buckingham Palace told HuffPost it had no further comment, as the palace does “not offer comment on the content of books.” 

In the same excerpt, John wrote about how Richard Gere and Sylvester Stallone almost got into a fistfight over Princess Diana after she’d separated from Prince Charles.

He also explained why he and Diana had a falling out, and reconciled before her death. They disagreed over a book of photographs, “Rock and Royalty,” published by Gianni Versace, that was to have had a forward written by Diana. 

“Then she got cold feet. I think Buckingham Palace didn’t like the idea of a member of the Royal Family having anything to do with a book that featured shots of naked guys with towels draped around them,” John said. “So, at the last moment, Diana withdrew her foreword. She said she had no idea of the book’s contents, which just wasn’t true: Gianni had shown her the whole thing and she had said she loved it.” 

Stefano Rellandini / Reuters
Princess Diana comforts Elton John as he weeps openly at a memorial mass for Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace in Milan on July 22, 1997. 

“I wrote back to her, calling her out, telling her how much money she had cost the AIDS Foundation, reminding her that she had seen the book. The letter I got back was very formal and severe: ‘Dear Mr John ...’” he wrote.

John wrote that he was both “angry” and “worried” about Diana, as she “seemed to be losing touch with all sorts of really close friends, who would be honest with her, and surrounding herself instead with people who told her what she wanted to hear.” 

The two made up after Versace was murdered. But just one month later, Diana was killed in a car crash in 1997.

These days, John is still close with members of the royal family. He attended the weddings of Prince William and Kate Middleton, and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. 

He spoke out on behalf of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex earlier this year after they were criticized for taking private flights in apparent contradiction of their eco-conscious message. He slammed what he said was “malicious” and “distorted” coverage of the couple. 

“I highly respect and applaud both Harry and Meghan’s commitment to charity and I’m calling on the press to cease these relentless and untrue assassinations on their character that are spuriously crafted on an almost daily basis,” he said. 

Elton John’s biography “Me” will officially be published on Oct. 15. 

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