Elton John and David Furnish met the way a lot of couples meet: connected by matchmaking mutual friends. But their relationship is hardly humdrum, because neither guy is what one would call a regular, normal, boring person. One of the two spouses is an international musical mega-star, the singer, songwriter, and pianist who sold millions of albums on the strength of classic pop-rock tunes like "Rocket Man," "Your Song," "Tiny Dancer," "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," and "I’m Still Standing." The other half of the pair is a Canadian advertising dynamo who heads a prolific entertainment company and a groundbreaking charity.
Put them together, and Elton John and David Furnish have one of the longest-lasting relationships in show business: They’ve been together for nearly 30 years, at the time of this writing, through the good times and the bad. "Our life is the same as anyone else’s," Furnish told CTV News back in 2015. "You know, sitting around the breakfast table, looking at the newspapers, drinking coffee, watching television, playing with the dogs, [and] playing with the kids."
But while this famous pairing does their best to maintain a sense of normalcy amid all their celebrity, love and marriage is still an adventure — and it’s one that these two powerful people have navigated together. Here’s a look into the lives, and high-profile relationship, of Elton John and David Furnish.
Elton John and David Furnish met at a dinner party
According to the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Elton John checked into a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility in 1990 to get his substance abuse issues under control. Doctors encouraged him to avoid the drug culture of Los Angeles if he wanted to remain sober, so after relocating to Atlanta for a few years, he moved back to his estate in Windsor, just outside of London, in 1993.
"I wanted to meet new people so I rang up a friend in London and said, ‘Could you please rattle some new people together for dinner here Saturday?’" John later told Parade in 2010. David Furnish attended the meal as the plus-one of an invitee, but he quickly hit it off with the host. "I was attracted to David immediately. He was very well dressed, very shy," John added.
According to Biography, John invited Furnish to come back over the following night for a more intimate dinner, just the two of them. They ate takeout from the fancy London Chinese restaurant Mr. Chow’s. John explained to Parade, "After it, we consummated our relationship. We fell in love very quickly."
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They obtained one of the U.K.’s first same-sex civil partnerships
In 2004, the Parliament of the United Kingdom heard the Civil Partnership Act, which would make civil partnerships between same-sex partners a legal domestic union across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. On Dec. 5, 2005, it was entered into the law of the land, a monumental moment that for the first time in the U.K. granted gay and lesbian couples similar rights to that of male-female married couples. According to the act, civil commitment ceremonies could take place on Dec. 21, 2005 or after — and Elton John and David Furnish made their relationship of 12 years official about as soon as they possibly could.
On Dec. 21, 2005, John and Furnish registered their civil partnership at the Windsor Guildhall government services and municipal building in London, according to The Guardian. They were among 678 other very first same-sex civil service ceremonies performed on that day across the U.K. In March 2014, the U.K. legalized same-sex marriage, prompting many gay couples to tie the knot, according to BBC News. In a fancy ceremony on Dec. 21, 2014 — the nine-year anniversary of their civil union — John and Furnish married in front of friends at their Berkshire estate.