When King Charles III revealed he's a big Leonard Cohen fan

4 May 2023, 11:51 | Updated: 13 September 2023, 15:22

Hallelujah- Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song – documentary trailer

By Mayer Nissim

King Charles III once shared his Private Passion for the works of Canadian superstar Leonard Cohen.

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Coming of age at the dawn of the rock 'n' roll era, Queen Elizabeth II was known to be a fan of popular music.

As well as classical music and show tunes, the Queen enjoyed the likes of Cliff Richard, ABBA and Vera Lynn, while the likes of Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney were among those paying tribute following her passing.

And it turns out that her successor King Charles III is also a fan of popular music, including a perhaps-surprising singer-songwriter: Canadian megastar Leonard Cohen.

Back in 2018 to mark his 70th birthday, the then-Prince Charles appeared radio show Private Passions to reveal his favourite tunes.

As well as being a fan of Jean-Marie Leclair's 18th Century opera Scylla et Glaucus the Creed from the Russian Orthodox liturgy and other classical work, he also chose Leonard Cohen's 'Take This Waltz'.

Leonard Cohen - Take This Waltz [Official Music Video]

"I've always loved Leonard Cohen's voice and his whole approach to the way he sang," he said.

"He was obviously incredibly sophisticated in the way he sang, but also wrote.

"I find it very moving, the words are so extraordinary, sort of Salvador Dalí-like, they lead you into this remarkable Dalí-like world."

Leonard Cohen - Take This Waltz (Official Audio)

'Take This Waltz' is a loose translation of Spanish poet Federico García Lorca's 'Pequeño vals vienés' (Little Viennese Waltz), first published in Poeta en Nueva York, written in 1929 and 1930 but not published until 1940, four years after Lorca's death

Cohen first recorded the song for 1986 Lorca tribute album Poets in New York, and a re-arranged version was included in 1988's I'm Your Man album.

Leonard died in 2016 at the age of 82, just months after the release of his 14th studio album You Want It Darker. The posthumous Thanks for the Dance followed in 2019.

Leonard Cohen - Take This Waltz (Live in London)

It's been claimed that Charles's mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II, was also a fan of Leonard's work.

Last year, manager of The Tenors Jeffrey Latimer told The Daily Telegraph that Her Majesty wanted the group to perform Cohen's classic 'Hallelujah' at the Diamond Jubilee concert.

"They were requested to sing Hallelujah," he said. "The group performed the song when she visited Canada."

The quartet's Victor Micallef added: "She told us how much she enjoyed 'Hallelujah' and that she liked the song. It was her favourite."

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