The death of Queen Elizabeth II has shocked and saddened the world, and it turns out that even rock stars aren’t immune to the grief that arises when someone who has been such an omnipresent force in the world for so long is suddenly gone. It makes sense that British celebrities, in particular, would feel a special kind of loss, and several of them have taken to social media to express their feelings.
Mick Jagger had a complicated history with Queen Elizabeth II; it was reported in 2003 that she actually scheduled an appointment to avoid having to be present when the Rolling Stone received his knighthood, an honor bestowed upon Jagger by King Charles in the queen’s absence, per the Express. Jagger’s biographer once claimed that he’d referred to Elizabeth as “Queen Witch” and rumors persisted over the years that he’d had an affair with the queen’s sister Princess Margaret.
Mick Jagger and the queen had a complicated relationship
Nevertheless, despite the past, Mick Jagger took to Instagram where he posted a photo of the young queen sitting on the throne and wrote, “For my whole life Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II has always been there. In my childhood I can recall watching her wedding highlights on TV. I remember her as a beautiful young lady, to the much beloved grandmother of the nation. My deepest sympathies are with the Royal family.” Fellow Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood also posted a younger portrait of the queen on Instagram, writing, “Serenity =reality =inner peace and strength,” followed by, “God bless Her Majesty,” surrounded by two crown emojis.
The rest of the Rolling Stones paid tribute via Instagram as a group, posting a more recent photo of the queen smiling on a stark, black background in a diamond crown and pearls, writing, “The Rolling Stones extend their deepest sympathy to the Royal family on the death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, who was a constant presence in their lives as in countless others.”
Elton John remembered the queen’s warmth
Another British rock star who was knighted over the course of Queen Elizabeth II’s long reign, Sir Elton John, expressed his own sympathies on Instagram with tasteful white lettering on a black background which read in part, “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.”
John has aligned himself with mourning the death of members of the royal family in the past. He famously reworked his song “Candle In The Wind” in 1997 after the death of the former Princess Diana with lyrics that paid tribute to the woman he called “England’s rose.” He performed the song at Diana’s funeral, and per Us Weekly, and promised to never perform it again unless specifically asked to do so by her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. It’s as yet unknown if Queen Elizabeth will get her own commemorative song from John.
Joe Elliott appreciated Queen Elizabeth’s dignity
Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott, currently touring the United States on the Stadium Tour with Motley Crue, Poison, and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, per Live Nation Entertainment, took to the Def Leppard Twitter account to pay tribute. He posted an adorable picture of the band meeting Queen Elizabeth many years ago and wrote, “Dignity. If there’s ever one word to describe this wonderful lady & monarch it’s dignity. We will never see the likes of this again.”
In fact, one slide wasn’t enough for Joe Elliott, who continued in a second tweet featuring the same heart-warming snapshot of his band with Queen Elizabeth, “She has transcended eras with good grace and service to her country that is unparalleled anywhere or by anyone. Thank you your Majesty for a lifetime of great memories and leadership.” Ironically, Elliott is also a fan of the anti-Queen Elizabeth anthem “God Save The Queen” as performed by the Sex Pistols. In a 2018 interview with The Quietus, he said “Nobody snarls like [lead singer Johnny] Rotten: his ‘we mean it, man’ on ‘God Save the Queen,’ it puts the hairs on my arm up to this day.”
Even Ozzy loved the queen
Other tributes were perhaps a bit more unexpected but nevertheless heartfelt. Ozzy Osbourne took to Twitter to post a portrait of young Queen Elizabeth II and write, “I mourn with my country the passing of our greatest Queen. With a heavy heart I say it is devastating the thought of England without Queen Elizabeth II.” Former Oasis member and Britpop superstar Liam Gallagher, who in his Twitter bio refers to himself as, among other things, “RNR STAR GODLIKE RASTA ICON LEGEND,” kept it short and sad, simply tweeting the word “Gutted”.
David Coverdale of British heavy rock band Whitesnake weighed in on Twitter as well, keeping it understated by posting three portraits of Queen Elizabeth II with a row of five respectful prayer emojis. A longer Twitter tribute came from former Spice Girl and fashion designer Victoria Beckham, who included a photo of the young Elizabeth smiling slightly while looking out a window and wrote, “Today is a very sad day for the entire world. I’m deeply saddened by the passing of our beloved Monarch, Her Majesty The Queen. She will be remembered for her steadfast loyalty and service and my thoughts are with the royal family at this time.”
A sad day for Duran Duran
Another well-loved British band, Duran Duran (shown above), took to Instagram to post the same portrait favored by Mick Jagger, writing in part, “Her Majesty the Queen has presided over the UK for longer than any other British monarch. She dedicated her life to the people and set an extraordinary example to the world throughout her reign. She’s seen changes that are beyond what any of us can imagine. She has faced challenges that she has risen to time and again. Her life has been remarkable in so many ways.”
Of course, it wasn’t just British celebrities that took to social media to mourn the passing of Queen Elizabeth II; plenty of Americans weighed in with their own tributes and well wishes. Both Janet Jackson and Barbra Streisand posted pictures of themselves shaking the queen’s hand on Instagram, with Jackson writing, “May you Rest In Peace Queen,” followed by white heart emoji and Streisand captioning her photo with, “Sad to hear about the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. She was a constant for us all. Respected around the world. May she rest in peace.”