Dec. 21, 2005 -- It's official: Sir Elton John and his partner of 11 years, David Furnish, have tied the knot. The King of Kitsch is known for his flamboyant parties and entrances, but today it was a relatively private affair for Britain's most famous gay couple.
They arrived at Guildhall in the historic town of Windsor shortly after 11 a.m. Waving to well-wishers, they posed for the hundreds of photographers that lined the cobbled street before entering the same hall where Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles said their vows.
Behind closed doors, the 40-minute ceremony was attended by the couple's parents and close friends. When it was over, the elated couple were showered with confetti and rice, and when asked how the ceremony went, Sir Elton replied: "Great, thanks."
And fans shared their joy.
"I think it's very good probably for the gay community that he has done this, and he is one of the first to do it. It's like he's giving his blessing and it's just great for him," Jil Funnell said.
Even Prime Minister Tony Blair mentioned the couple at a news conference. He wished them well and congratulated them, adding "and to all the other people exercising their rights under the civil partnership law, I think it's a modern, progressive step for the country and I'm glad we did it."
For the first time ever, same-sex couples were able to enter what is called a civil partnership. Even though this partnership gives gay couples legal recognition for their relationship under U.K. law, the partnerships are still not recognized as marriages. The law, however, formalizes the relationship and grants couples new rights in areas such as employment, pension and inheritance.
Today, the newlyweds joined 700 other gay couples in the country who also entered civil partnerships.
And tonight, under two giant, white marquees at Sir Elton's home in Windsor, he and Furnish will be joined by 750 of their close friends. It will be a star-studded event, with people like Liz Hurley, Rod Stewart and Mick Jagger on the guest list. The bash will reportedly cost $1.75 million.