Elton John's poignant performance of "Candle In The Wind" at the funeral of Princess Diana was one of the most memorable moments of the service. However, there was some reluctance to let him perform the song, until the Dean of Westminster Abbey himself came forward to appeal the case.

"Candle In The Wind," originally written in memory of actress Marilyn Monroe, was widely taken up and played as a memorial to the Princess of Wales after she lost her life in a car crash in Paris in August 1997. Elton John, who had been a friend of the royal, rewrote the lyrics of the song and changed its opening line from "Goodbye Norma Jean" (Monroe's real name) to "Goodbye England's rose."

Papers released by the National Archives suggest that there were concerns that the re-written lyrics of the song, including the opening line, were "too sentimental." However, Westminster Abbey's Dean, the Very Reverend Arthur Wesley Carr, argued that allowing the performance would be an "imaginative and generous" gesture to the public especially since they had turned against the British royal family after Diana's death, reports Mail Online.

Dr. Carr wrote a note about the matter to Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm Ross, a senior member of the royal household, who was involved in negotiations over the service between Buckingham Palace and Diana's family. In his note, the reverend noted that the song has captured the public mood.

"This is a crucial point in the service and we would urge boldness. It is where the unexpected happens and something of the modern world that the princess represented. I respectfully suggest that anything classical or choral (even a popular classic such as something by Lloyd Webber) is inappropriate," he wrote.

The letter further read, "Better would be the enclosed song by Elton John (known to millions and his music was enjoyed by the princess), which would be powerful. He has written new words to the tune which is being widely played and sung throughout the nation in memorial to Diana. It is all the time on the radio."

Dr. Carr noted that the song is "popular culture at its best" and would be "imaginative and generous to the millions who are feeling personally bereaved." He further argued that even if the lyrics are being considered too sentimental, which isn't even a "bad thing given the national mood," they can be only sung and not printed.

Dr. Carr ended his note by saying he would be prepared to discuss the significance of his suggestion over the phone with anyone. His letter was copied to the Prime Minister's residence No. 10, but there is no record of any reply in the National Archives.

Michael (top), Elton John (R) and David Furnish (C) at the funeral service for Diana, Princess of Wales at Westminster Abbey, September 6,1997
Michael (top), Elton John (R) and David Furnish (C) at the funeral service for Diana, Princess of Wales at Westminster Abbey, September 6,1997 Reuters