As Elton became ever more famous, rumors began to spread about his sexuality. Elton told Rolling Stone in 1976 that he felt he was bisexual, and in 1984 he married a woman, Renate Blauel. As it turned out, though, he was gay. “I wanted more than anything to be a good husband,” Elton wrote on Instagram in 2017, “but I denied who I really was, which caused my wife sadness, and caused me huge guilt and regret.”
In 1993 Elton started dating David Furnish, whom he would eventually marry. But while Sheila Farebrother claimed to the Daily Mail in 2015 that she had no problem with her son living as an openly gay man, she did object strongly to his choice of partner. Elton’s mom didn’t like Furnish at all, thinking him controlling.
She told the Daily Mail that Furnish had sidelined her at her own son’s wedding. “One thing I didn’t do was to wear a hat,” she recalled. “That didn’t go down well with Furnish because he wanted it to be the Wedding of the Year. Then a call came through from Furnish’s secretary saying if we wouldn’t mind, we were not going to be in the photographs.”