Rocketman: Who is Elton John’s ex-wife Renate Blauel and where is she now?

20 May 2019, 16:42 | Updated: 23 May 2019, 14:06

Elton John and his ex wife Renate Blauel on their wedding day on 14 February 1984
Elton John and his ex wife Renate Blauel on their wedding day on 14 February 1984. Picture: Patrick Riviere/Getty Images

As Rocketman prepares to be released in UK cinemas this week, we delve into the story of Elton John's first marriage to the German sound engineer.

Rocketman, which tells the story of how Reginald Dwight became legendary musician Elton John, is set for release this week.

The film, starring Taron Egerton as the famous piano man, has made history by featuring what is believed to be the first gay sex scene in a studio film.

Elton John has long been known as a gay man and is a huge advocate for LGBTQI rights, but as the film details, he was once married to a woman.

Find out everything we know about his ex-wife Renate Blauel, including how they met, when they got married, how the divorced and where she is now...

Who is Renate Blauel and how did Elton John meet her?

Blauel - who hails from Munich, Germany - was described by the press as a sound technician.

The pair met in 1983 while the star was finishing his Too Low for Zero album - which included hit singles I'm Still Standing and I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues - and they quickly became close friends.

After travelling with her on the Australian leg of his Too Low for Zero tour, Elton John prosed to Blauel.

The couple wed on Valentine's Day 1984 in St. Mark's Church the area of Darling Point in Sydney, Australia and were married for four years.

Elton John and ex-wife Renate kiss outside church on wedding day
Elton John and ex-wife Renate kiss outside church on wedding day. Picture: Patrick Riviere/Getty Images

When did Renate Blauel and Elton John get divorced and what has Elton John said about it?

The pair divorced in 1988 and soon after Elton John came out as gay.

In 1992, the Tiny Dancer singer told Rolling Stone he was "quite comfortable about being gay."

Addressing his first marriage in when urging Australians to vote in favour of same sex marriage in 2017, Elton John took to Instagram to write: "Many years ago, I chose Australia for my wedding to a wonderful woman for whom I have so much love and admiration. I wanted more than anything to be a good husband, but I denied who I really was, which caused my wife sadness, and caused me huge guilt and regret."

He added: "To be worthy of someone's love, you have to be brave enough and clear eyed enough to be honest with yourself and your partner."

See his full post below, which includes a photo of his husband David Furnish:

View this post on Instagram

I'm so excited to be back in Australia for a series of shows. Many years ago, I chose Australia for my wedding to a wonderful woman for whom I have so much love and admiration. I wanted more than anything to be a good husband, but I denied who I really was, which caused my wife sadness, and caused me huge guilt and regret. To be worthy of someone's love, you have to be brave enough and clear eyed enough to be honest with yourself and your partner. Almost 24 years ago, I met the person with whom I could be fully myself. When we married in 2014, it felt like that fact was accepted by the world. For David and I, being able to openly love and commit to one another, and for that to be recognised and celebrated is what makes life truly worth living. That acceptance and support makes us want to be as kind, responsible and productive members of society, as well as the best parents, that we can be. I love Australia. I love its spirit, its lack of pretence, its passion. I hope it can embrace the honesty and courage that seeks gay marriage as an expression not of desire but of love. #loveislove #marriageequality @davidfurnish

A post shared by Elton John (@eltonjohn) on

Where is Renate Blauel now?

After the couple divorced, Blauel retreated from the public eye.

A report in People magazine from 1988 said that the divorce was rumoured to be for as much as $45,000,000 (£35,370,000)

Blauel has never really spoken out about the divorce but assured People that the split was amicable and they "genuinely intend to remain best of friends".

It was also reported by the magazine that Elton John bought Renate a $600,000 (£471, 600) country home in Surrey, which she lived in until 2000, when it is thought she returned to her native Germany to look after her parents.

Renate Blauel in 1990, who married singer Elton John in 1984 and divorced him in 1988
Renate Blauel in 1990, who married singer Elton John in 1984 and divorced him in 1988. Picture: Terry O'Neill/Iconic Images/Getty Images

Who is Elton John married to now?

Elton John began a relationship with film maker and former ad exec David Furnish in 1993.

The pair were among some of the very first couples to have a civil partnership in the United Kingdom, getting hitched on 21 December 2005 (the very day the civil partnership act came into force).

They have since been married, tying the knot again on 21 December 2014 - the ninth anniversary of their civil partnership.

They have two sons Zachary Jackson Furnish-John (age 9), and Elijah Joseph Daniel Furnish-John (age 6).

David Furnish and Elton John at the Rocketman premiere at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival
David Furnish and Elton John at the Rocketman premiere at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival. Picture: Samir Hussein/WireImage

READ MORE: Does Taron Egerton sing and play the piano in Rocketman?

READ MORE: Get the full details of the Rocketman soundtrack

Watch Elton John ans Taron Egerton sing Tiny Dancer together at his Oscars viewing party this year: