Elton last night reigned over his most lavish party ever. It cost £10 million to throw together the summer spectacular, including his A-list guests’ frocks and baubles, according to The Sun newspaper on June 27, 2003.
Elton made the theme of the bash Imperial Russia. Stars were treated to vodka, champagne and caviar.
Around 500 VIPs were invited to Elton’s mansion near Windsor, Berks, including Royalty, actresse, singers and sports stars. They included the Duchess of York, Liz Hurley, Elle MacPherson, Kylie Minogue, Naomi Campbell, David and Victoria Beckham, Jemima Khan, Dame Judi Dench, Damon Hill, Nick Faldo, Lulu and Sting.
Liz and Naomi alone were decked out in diamonds worth £2million from posh jeweller Chopard. Liz, as usual, was wearing a gown slashed to the thigh and sported a glittering tiara.
Supermodel Elle, in a spectacular red frock, arrived flashing £500,000 of diamonds, including earrings and a bracelet from De Beers. Smiling Becks turned up wearing a pale blue/grey suit that matched the colour of Posh’s stunning dress.
Elton and partner David Furnish wore matching morning suits.
Centrepiece of the White Tie And Tiara Ball, to mark the 10th anniversary of the Elton John Aids Foundation, was a giant marquee covered with real gold leaf to look like a Russian church.
The pathways leading up it were covered in fake snow. Elton also transformed part of his garden into an ice rink where skaters served cocktails.
Guests, who also included Mis-Teeq, Samantha Mumba and Stephen Gately, mingled on the lawn next to a hot air balloon. They were surrounded by £200,000 of flowers and had £500,000-worth of vintage bubbly on tap. Elton entertained and also flew in Barry Manilow and disco diva Donna Summer to sing a duet.
Guests paid £1,500 or more for a ticket to help raise £1.5million for Elton’s charity. They tucked into a gourmet six-course banquet prepared by top chefs.
Main event of the night was a raffle where prizes included £10,000 diamond watches and a £27,000 Audi TT sports car. Elton was forced to beef up security around his 37-acre estate after last weekend’s royal gatecrashing drama at nearby Windsor Castle.
Elton hired a 100-strong security team with sniffer dogs to guard the do for 24 hours. That bill came to around £50,000. Costs of the party were covered by sponsors, including Chopard, to make sure as much cash as possible went to Elton’s charity.
Elt’s fundraising director Simon Prytherch said last night: “We are hoping to raise £1.5million for a very worthy cause. Our guests paid for tickets and also donated generous amounts to the charity.
“Elton wanted to make sure this was the party to upstage all parties.”