Rocketman: Who is Elton John's wife? When did he marry Renate? The 'heartbreaking' truth

Rocketman is already being compared to Bohemian Rhapsody. Both films tell the remarkable stories or sensationally talented pop icons who hid their sexuality for decades. Freddie Mercury referred to Mary Austin as the love of his life and his “common law wife” until the very end. Elton John actually married Renate in 1984 and has spoken of his “guilt” over how he treated her. What actually happened and why?

Bohemian Rhapsody was made 27 years after Freddie’s death, but Rocketman has been made with the full co-operation of Elton John. Leading man Taron Egerton was even allowed to read the star’s private journals, which means it is Elton’s genuine thoughts, words and deeds we see up there on the screen.

In the movie, Elton confesses his regret over what happened with Renate, saying she “didn’t deserve” what he did to her and paying tribute to her dignity throughout.

The film emphasises the way Elton’s parents both denied him love and how his mother told him being gay meant he would never be loved. The movie depicts the star at his lowest moment, feeling abandoned and betrayed by his male lover and manager, John Reid, and addicted to a crippling array of drugs and alcohol.

And then he met Renate.

Renate Blauel was a German sound engineer who was working in the studio with Elton. Every account of her during the marriage and the dignified way she handled the divorce and aftermath affirms she was loyal, supportive and devoted to Elton.

It was a safe harbour he desperately needed, but ultimately the marriage, of course, could never work.

They married on St Valentine’s Day 1984 at St Mark’s church in Sydney. It was worldwide news. The star had revealed he was bisexual in a 1976 Rolling Stone interview but rumours he was actually gay had been circulating for years. 

The couple kept a relatively low profile during their marriage and just four years later they were divorced and Renate quietly disappeared from sight.

Almost twenty years later, Elton paid emotional tribute to his ex-wife.

He said: “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.”

In the film, and real life Elton finally found happiness with David Furnish in 1993. They entered a Civil Partnership in 2005, were married in 2014 and have two sons, Zachary and Elijah.

Renate is believed to have received a multi-million-pound divorce settlement and moved to the HOme Counties to continue working in music.