8 times the Queen met music royalty: Elton John, Tom Jones, Madonna and more

12 September 2022, 09:10 | Updated: 13 September 2022, 10:16

The Queen has met an extraordinary number of stars in her time, including Sir Elton John, Sir Cliff Richard, Dame Shirley Bassey, Sir Tom Jones and Sir Paul McCartney pictured here in 2012.
The Queen has met an extraordinary number of stars in her time, including Sir Elton John, Sir Cliff Richard, Dame Shirley Bassey, Sir Tom Jones and Sir Paul McCartney pictured here in 2012. Picture: Alamy

By Giorgina Hamilton

Queen Elizabeth II may have met her fair share of royal family members and world heads of state, but the Monarch also rubbed shoulders with some of the biggest stars in pop history.

Throughout her reign, The Queen had the privilege of meeting some of the greatest singers and songwriters of our time.

From The Beatles and Cliff Richard and Queen to George Michael, Sir Tom Jones and Take That - the Queen had seen them all.

  1. Madonna

    Madonna curtsies as she meets The Queen in 2002.
    Madonna curtsies as she meets The Queen in 2002. Picture: Alamy

    It was a night to remember when the Queen of Pop met the Queen of England at London's iconic Royal Albert Hall.

    The pair met at the World Premiere of new James Bond film Die Another Day in November 18, 2002.

    Madonna had nervously practised her curtsey with John Cleese before the Queen arrived and upon shaking her hand, explained to the Queen that she sang the film's title track, to which the Monarch responded: "Oh really, did you?"

    Watch the video of Madonna curtsying to The Queen, below...

  2. Lady Gaga

    The Queen meets Lady Gaga at the Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool in 2009.
    The Queen meets Lady Gaga at the Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool in 2009. Picture: Alamy

    Gracious as ever Her Majesty the Queen is never ruffled by an awkward moment or unusual outfit.

    This brilliant snap was taken backstage at The Royal Variety Performance in Blackpool in 2009.

    Earlier in the evening, Lady Gaga had appeared on stage dressed at Elizabeth I and performed her hit song 'Speechless' while playing the piano suspended in the air.

    We wonder what the monarch thought of Lady Gaga's latex tribute to her long-lost ancestor...

  3. Barbra Streisand

    Barbra Streisand meets the Queen in 1975
    Barbra Streisand meets the Queen in 1975. Picture: Alamy

    The Queen met Barbra Streisand at the premiere of Funny Lady (the sequel to her hit movie Funny Girl) in 1975.

    When it came to her turn in the line-up, Barbra famously asked the Queen: “Your Majesty, why is it that women have to wear white gloves to meet you and men don’t?”

    The Queen didn’t know and replied, “I’ll have to think about that one. I suppose it’s tradition.”

  4. Elton John, Cliff Richard, Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones and Paul McCartney

    Her Majesty the Queen pictured with (L to R) Sir Elton John, Sir Cliff Richard, Dame Shirley Bassey, Sir Tom Jones and Sir Paul McCartney
    Her Majesty the Queen pictured with (L to R) Sir Elton John, Sir Cliff Richard, Dame Shirley Bassey, Sir Tom Jones and Sir Paul McCartney. Picture: Alamy

    As the world celebrated her Diamond Jubilee in 2012, the Queen was entertained by a massive concert in her honour in the grounds of Buckingham Palace.

    The June 4 show saw performances from a huge array of stars including Robbie Williams, Cheryl Cole, Ed Sheeran, Annie Lennox, Stevie Wonder and Grace Jones.

    As the evening came to a close the Queen met many of the stars backstage, resulting in this extraordinary photo.

    Elizabeth II was pictured with Sir Elton John, Sir Cliff Richard, Dame Shirley Bassey, Sir Tom Jones and Sir Paul McCartney – all of whom has performed earlier in the evening – you'd be hard-pressed to find a more impressive line-up of British stars in one snap!

  5. Rod Stewart

    When Rod Stewart met Queen Elizabeth II
    When Rod Stewart met Queen Elizabeth II. Picture: Getty Images

    It was back in 2016 when Rod Stewart and wife Penny Lancaster met the Queen.

    The 'Maggie May' singer had just been awarded a knighthood in recognition of his services to music and charity earlier that day, before heading to a reception and awards ceremony at the Royal Academy of Arts.

    It was there that the couple had the opportunity to rub shoulders with Her Majesty.

  6. The Spice Girls

    Spice Girl Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice) shakes hands with the Queen in 1997 as (L to R ) Emma Bunton, Victoria Beckham, Mel C and Mel B (far right) look on
    Spice Girl Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice) shakes hands with the Queen in 1997 as (L to R ) Emma Bunton, Victoria Beckham, Mel C and Mel B (far right) look on. Picture: Alamy

    The most famous pop group in the world met the most famous woman in the world backstage at the Royal Variety Performance on December 1, 1997.

    Emma Bunton, Geri Halliwell, Victoria Beckham, Mel C and Mel B, lined up and curtseyed to the Queen after performing 'too Much' and 'Who Do You Think You Are' at London's Victoria Palace Theatre.

    It wouldn't the group's only brush with royalty. Geri Halliwell famously patted Prince Charles' bottom in 1997 and years later Victoria Beckham would go on to attend not one but two royal weddings.

  7. Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Brian May

    (L to R) Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Brian May line up to meet the Queen in 2005.
    (L to R) Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Brian May line up to meet the Queen in 2005. Picture: Alamy

    The Queen met guitar legends Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Brian May during a Buckingham Palace event to honour the British music industry, in 2005.

    The hilarious meeting made headlines at the time because the monarch didn't know who any of the famous musicians were.

    The humble quartet made sure to introduce themselves all to the Queen before she said: "You've all been playing quite a long time," to which Clapton fired back, "About…god, 40 years!"

    Watch the famous interaction below:

  8. Enrique Iglesias

    The Queen meets Enrique Iglesias in 2007
    The Queen meets Enrique Iglesias in 2007. Picture: Alamy

    Enrique Iglesias famously met the Queen whilst wearing jeans and an untucked shirt, in 2007.

    The moment happened as the Spanish star lined-up backstage at the Royal Variety Performance at the Empire Theatre, Liverpool on December 3.

    Despite his slightly dishevelled appearance, the Queen looked delighted to meet the towering 6'1 star who earlier in the evening had performed a moving rendition of his smash hit song,'Tired of Being Sorry'.