Sir Elton John is having to skip a reception to celebrate his late friend, Princess Diana, as he's recovering from hip replacement surgery.

Elton John

Elton John

The 74-year-old music legend was on the guestlist for the bash at Kensignton Palace next Tuesday (19.10.21), but he's no longer able to attend as he's recovering from his operation.

A source told The Sun newspaper's Bizarre column: “Elton underwent hip replacement surgery at the start of the month. It went well and he is on the mend but is taking things slow.

"He will be back on TV next week with an appearance on 'The Graham Norton Show' to promote his new album The Lockdown Sessions but it was pre-recorded before the op.”

Elton having to miss the party comes after it was confirmed that The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not fly back to London for the reception.

A spokesperson told the Telegraph newspaper at the weekend that the royal couple - who live in Santa Barbara, California - won't be in attendance.

The celebration was originally planned to take place in July after the Diana statue was unveiled at the Sunken Garden of the palace to mark the 20th anniversary of Diana's tragic passing and what would have been her 60th birthday.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the statue unveiling was massively scaled back.

However, Prince Harry, 37, reunited with his brother Prince William, 39, for the special moment, while Meghan, 40, stayed at home in the US, as she had not long given birth to their daughter Lilibet.

Around 100 other close friends and family of Diana are also expected to attend the delayed party.

Her sons - whom she had with ex-husband Prince Charles - commissioned sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley to create the touching tribute to their mother, who died in a car accident in Paris on August 31, 1997, aged 36.

The brothers hope the statue is seen as a lasting symbol of the "life and legacy" of The Princess of Wales.