Elton John's husband and children: Inside their family life and incredible love story

23 June 2023, 16:39

Elton John and David Furnish are proud fathers of Zachary, 8, and Elijah, 6.
Elton John and David Furnish are proud fathers of Zachary, 8, and Elijah, 6. Picture: Getty

Elton may be one of the most famous performers in the world, but much less is known about his private life. Here we take a look behind the scenes at his life with husband David Furnish and their children Zachary and Elijah.

How did Elton John and David Furnish meet?

Elton John, 56, met his now-husband David Furnish, 72, at a dinner party held at the singer's house in 1993, after he told a friend he wanted to meet new people.

Elton had recently stopped drinking and was rebuilding a new life in sobriety: "I rang up a friend in London and said, ‘Could you please rattle some new people together for dinner here Saturday?'” Elton told Parade in 2010.

David was reluctant to go, later saying he expected the night to be a total bore, but Elton said their attraction was instant.

“I was attracted to David immediately. He was very well-dressed, very shy. The next night we had dinner. After it, we consummated our relationship. We fell in love very quickly,” Elton recalled.

Who is David Furnish?

David Furnish, who is 15 years younger than Elton John, was born in Toronto, Canada in 1962.

His father was an accountant and David struggled with his sexuality, later explaining that his main reason for leaving Canada and moving to London to become an ad executive for Ogilvy & Mather, was to explore his sexuality away from his family.

It wasn't until David started dating Elton - arguably one of the most famous gay men in the world - that he eventually came out to his family.

"I left Canada, I left my family behind, because I was ashamed, I ran away" David told The Observer in 2001.

David Furnish had his own career as an ad executive when he met Elton John at a dinner party in 1993
David Furnish had his own career as an ad executive when he met Elton John at a dinner party in 1993. Picture: Getty

"I grew up in a wonderfully happy, balanced household, with two other brothers and a mother and father who were still in love. I'd had such a positive experience at home, I wanted to live up to that ideal. But I couldn't do it. I had a lot of failed relationships, a lot of unhappiness, a lot of shame and embarrassment, bad self-image stuff. I had to get away,"

Elton had been in famously high profile relationships with women before he met David Furnish.

Most notably he was married to Renate Blauel for four years from 1983 to 1987 and was previously engaged to Linda Hannon in 1970, who recently spoke out about Elton cancelling their wedding just before the ceremony.

When did David Furnish and Elton John get married?

Elton and David had a civil partnership in 2005 and a wedding ceremony ion December 21, 2014 as soon as same-sex marriage was legalised in the UK.

Elton said at the time: "Having our civil partnership was an incredible breakthrough for people that have campaigned for a long time - through the 60s and the 50s in England when it was so hard to be gay and hard to be open about it. And it was a criminal act."

Sir Elton John (R) and his partner David Furnish pose for photographs at the Guildhall in Windsor, 21 December 2005, after conducting a short civil "wedding" ceremony at the registry office
Sir Elton John (R) and his partner David Furnish pose for photographs at the Guildhall in Windsor, 21 December 2005, after conducting a short civil "wedding" ceremony at the registry office. Picture: Getty

So for this legislation to come through is joyous, and we should celebrate it. We shouldn't just say, 'Oh, well we have a civil partnership. We're not going to bother to get married'. We will get married."

And get married they did! The wedding was a lavish affair and David and Victoria Beckham, David Williams, Ed Sheeran, Hugh Grant and Gary Barlow among the guests in attendance.

Guests were treated to an elegant reception filled with dark red roses and a superb dinner of beef short rib and warm chocolate pudding.

Together now for almost thirty years, Elton and David still find time to be incredibly romantic towards one another.

The duo met on a saturday and count that day of the week their anniversary, so every saturday both David and Elton write love notes to one another - how lovely!

Elton and David's journey to fatherhood

David and Elton are the proud father to two boys: Zachary, 8, and Elijah, 6.

Both children were born to the couple by the same surrogate and Elton - who was known for his lavish indulgence in outlandish objects - has said they have brought more joy to his life than anything else on earth.

“Before we had the children we just had our lives and we would spend money because we didn't have anything else to focus on.

"I've learned that the simplest things in life, like having a minute with them, are worth more than any painting, any photograph, any house or hit record,” Elton told The Mirror in 2018.

Five years after their civil partnership, Elton and David welcomed son Zachary on christmas day, 2010.

“We are overwhelmed with happiness and joy at this very special moment,” the couple announced in a statement. “Zachary is healthy and doing really well, and we are very proud and happy parents.”

Two years later, Elijah joined his brother as the second child born to an overjoyed Elton and David, whom they revealed to the world through an exclusive with Hello! Magazine.

“[Elijah] completes our family in a most precious and perfect way,” Elton told Hello!, “I've learned that a parent's capacity for love is endless. When another child is born, our depth of love just grows deeper and wider, so it was very emotional.”

The couple are determined that the children - who call Elton 'Daddy' and David 'Papa' - will grow up to appreciate the value of money and have admirable values in place around pocket money and saving.

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“They get £3 pocket money, but £1 is for charity, £1 is for saving and £1 is for spending, they get three coins and put them in separate jars. And they have to work for it – help in the kitchen, help in the garden," Elton told The Guardian, "They’ve got to learn the value of doing something and earning something for themselves.”

Whilst Elton may be one of the most recognisable faces on earth, Elton went on to explain that he and David are determined to give their children the most normal life as possible.

“They live a very local life in Old Windsor, they go round their mates’ houses, it’s not a showbiz life as such,” added Elton.

“They’re not stuck behind the gates of a mansion. Saturdays when I’m home, we go to Pizza Hut with them, we go to Waterstones, we go to the cinema. I’ve never been a recluse, I’ve never hidden away. I’m on the school run.”

After finding his great love with David and the joy of fatherhood, Elton is the first to reflect on the extraordinary life he has led.

If you'd had said to me ten years ago I'd be sitting on your show married to the man I love and have two beautiful children, I would have said you put acid in my drink," said Elton on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

"But life throws you challenges ... and these two children have come along at a time I never thought I'd have children. They are the greatest thing in our lives. There are no words to describe how much we love these boys. They're just amazing."