April 13, 2024
Slash and Queen Elizabeth II

When the Prince Of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne, received an invitation to perform for Queen Elizabeth II at the 2005 Royal Variety Performance, the proud royalist was determined to pull out all the stops in tribute to the British Monarch. In this spirit, Osbourne made a phone call to another iconic member of rock royalty, Guns N’ Roses’ English-born guitarist Slash, inviting Slash to make a special guest appearance on stage with him on the night. The guitarist declared himself “really honoured” to have the opportunity to participate… and even more honoured when he subsequently learned that Queen Elizabeth knew who he was.

Staged at the Cardiff Millennium Centre on November 21, 2005, the line-up for the Royal Variety Performance in question was decidedly un-rock n’roll… unless one’s idea of rock n’ roll is Cliff Richard, Will Young, Shirley Bassey, Joe Pasquale and Charlotte Church. [Actually, to be fair, Charlotte Church is pretty rock ‘n’ roll, but that’s a topic for another day]. Out of respect for the occasion, Ozzy too opted to dial down the whole Prince Of Darkness schtick, and chose to perform a Beatles classic, In My Life, with a string section, rather than one of his solo hits or a Black Sabbath anthem. He and Slash scrubbed up pretty well, as it goes.

Post-show, the performers stood in line to meet the Queen, with Ozzy accompanied, as ever, by his beloved wife and manager Sharon, and Slash joined by his young son London. “It was interesting… kinda cool, ” Slash recalled.

“When she got round to me she said to me, ‘Oh, you’re the man with the hat!’ It was a moment, you know? The fact that the Queen knew who I was, that tripped me out.”

Summarising the evening, Slash added, “That was a lot of fun, that was well worth the trip.”

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