When the Queen asked to meet George Michael: Royal was Wham! fan and 'knew all their hits'

20 September 2019, 12:49 | Updated: 20 September 2019, 14:29

George Michael's ex-manager recalls how the Careless Whisper singer and The Queen met at a polo match in 1985.
George Michael's ex-manager recalls how the Careless Whisper singer and The Queen met at a polo match in 1985. Picture: Getty

By Giorgina Ramazzotti

Wham!'s ex-manager has revealed Queen Elizabeth II was a huge fan of the band and requested an audience with George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley in 1985.

Bryan Morrison, whose posthumus memoirs were published this month after his death in 2008, recalls how the Queen asked to meet the pop duo in 1985.

The influential manager, who alongside Wham! represented Pink Floyd, the Bee Gees and T.Rex, was co-founder of The Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club where Prince Charles, Prince Harry and Prince William regularly play the sport.

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It was there, at a polo match in 1985, where the Queen asked if Andrew Ridgeley and George Michael could be invited along for a meeting.

George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley pictured in 1984, one year before their audience with Elizabeth II
George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley pictured in 1984, one year before their audience with Elizabeth II. Picture: Getty
Queen Elizabeth II met with Wham! at the Royal Berkshire Polo Club in 1985
Queen Elizabeth II met with Wham! at the Royal Berkshire Polo Club in 1985. Picture: Getty

In his book Have a Cigar! Bryan recalls being told the news that the monarch wanted to meet the pop duo.

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“Through an emissary, I learnt that the Queen had heard that I was managing and publishing Wham! and that she would like to meet them,” he says.

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Upon receiving the unusual request, George and Andrew were invited to the polo club to have an audience with the Queen.

George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley pictured the same year they met the Queen at Live Aid in 1985
George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley pictured the same year they met the Queen at Live Aid in 1985. Picture: Getty

“To my amazement, on greeting them, the Queen knew all of their hits and spent a great deal of time listening to their exploits,” Bryan recalls.

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Later that year George Michael, who also shared a close friendship with Princess Diana, spoke about his meeting with Elizabeth II.

“It was at a drinks thing in a marquee after some polo match," George said.

Watch: George Michael impressing David Bowie and Seal with Freddie Mercury song is so powerful - video

"There were lots of other people there, but she did speak to me. She asked me about China, and said that she hadn’t been there but that she might be going there next year."

“She was really very sweet. And small," he added.

Prince Charles and the Queen pictures at a polo match in July 1985
Prince Charles and the Queen pictures at a polo match in July 1985. Picture: Getty

It isn't the first time that the Queen's taste in contemporary pop music has been revealed.

In a BBC documentary aired in 2016, it was revealed that the monarch's taste in music was “mainstream, no airs and graces” - with favourite tracks including songs by Gary Barlow, Dame Vera Lynn and Fred Astaire.

Read more: How George Michael sang to dying "secret first love" in audience at Freddie Mercury tribute

Music manager Bryan Morrison, who through his love of polo became a close friend of the royal family, recalls in his memoirs that Prince Charles has a surprisingly good singing voice.

Read more: Heartbreaking poetry George Michael wrote at 11-years-old proves the star's early talent

After overhearing the future King singing hymns at a private christening in 1986, Bryan recalls Charles had a “rather lovely baritone voice” and that he even tried to persuade the Prince to release a charity single.

Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Visit The East Midlands
Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Visit The East Midlands. Picture: Getty

In his recently published autobiography, Bryan says: “I remarked to the Prince that he should make a record. He had an extremely good voice.

“I suggested that we should make a Christmas charity record. He laughed and said, ‘Why not?’”

Watch George Michael's last ever concert - his final words are heartbreakingly poignant

Unfortunately the royal collaboration was never to be.

After suffering a polo accident, Bryan Morrison fell into a coma for two years and sadly passed away in 2008, aged 66.

His book Have a Cigar!: The Memoir of the Man Behind Pink Floyd, T Rex, the Jam and George Michael is out now.

Getty
Getty. Picture: Getty

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