Over the years, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have gotten to know their fair share of influential people.
Indeed, some celebrities have even become great friends, as is usually the case in Hollywood. When people connect at parties or dinners, the network becomes more extensive, which can sometimes lead to some fairly crazy Hollywood stories.
It certainly was the case for Prince Harry, in any case, though perhaps not as one might expect.
In his book Spare, Harry revealed many things about the Royal Family and how his upbringing shaped his life views. At the same time, he also gave fans a glimpse into other parts of his life that one could describe as a little more… wild.
Take, for example, that Harry revealed he and a friend had attended a house party thrown by famous Friends actress Courteney Cox. At that party, he apparently didn’t only consume drinks, but also tried a substance that transformed a toilet bowl into a head – one that then proceeded to scream at him.
Becoming a celebrity is many people’s dream – one that sometimes never fades. Now, some become famous actors, artists, singers, or performers early, while others have significant breakthroughs later in life.
When it comes to Hollywood, it should come as no surprise that celebrities mainly hang out with other people of similar social stature. Those are often the individuals they meet when working or attending events or parties. Some argue that this has created a kind of bubble where celebs tend to live in their own little world of fame and riches.
Prince Harry & his celebrity friends
The term ‘celebrity’ can span many fields, including the royals. Though they might not be the most outstanding actors or singers, they can’t simply walk down the street like the rest of us. Due to their power and influence, though, they have access to the celeb world, and, as a result, many keep famous friends.
Prince Harry is no exception. Over the years, the Duke has been seen with many influential people. Indeed, after Harry and Meghan’s wedding in 2018, questions were raised over some celebrities on their guest list – and whether or not either the bride or groom even knew them personally.
Harry and Meghan’s private life – and the media coverage they got beforehand – made their wedding unique in its own way. One royal expert even went as far as to claim that some of the guests were there just to be there.
Two such guests were movie star George Clooney and his wife, Amal. Reports suggest that neither of them knew Harry or Meghan at all.
“There’s a story doing the rounds that while Carolyn Bartholomew, Diana’s former flatmate, was waiting for the wedding service to start, she turned to the couple alongside her and asked how they knew Harry or Meghan,” Boris Johnson’s sister wrote in the online publication AirMail. “‘We don’t,’ the Clooneys answered brightly.”
After the wedding, Harry and Meghan were said to have visited the Clooneys at their residence in Como, Italy. George Clooney explained that the four had had dinner several times in recent years.
Meghan was questioned on Oprah Winfrey attending her wedding
Oprah Winfrey also attended the wedding, though most people were confused by this as there hadn’t been any talk regarding the talk show host’s relationship with Harry and Meghan prior. As royal reporter Daniela Elser pointed out, one article’s headline even read: “Oprah Winfrey has arrived at the royal wedding – but people aren’t sure why.”
Royal expert Andrew Morton – the author of Diana: Her True Story – also questioned the celebrity guest list.
“(She) populated the wedding with A-list Hollywood celebrities who … have proved their worth to her by speaking out in public about the criticisms of her,” Morton said.
“I don’t think she (had) even met Oprah Winfrey (before the wedding). I don’t know whether Harry had. But she invited these people along, and now she has her own court.”
“She’s a new player, and she’s been quick out (of) the starting box. Unlike Prince Harry’s friends who keep quiet, Megan’s A-list celebrity friends, the court of Meghan, is a very voluble court, and they’re very powerful.”
Prince Harry, meanwhile, has many famous friends. The list includes ex-soccer player David Beckham, actor Tom Hardy, and singer Ellie Goulding. Perhaps the most notable is Sir Elton John, who has a very special connection to the Duke.
Harry’s longtime friendship with Elton John
Elton John’s connections to the Royal Family spans decades, as he shared a close relationship with Harry’s mother, Princess Diana. At Diana’s funeral, he performed the rewritten version of his song Candle In The Wind.
In his book, Spare, Harry recalled the very emotional moment.
“The funeral began with a series of readings and eulogies and culminated with Elton John,” Harry wrote. “He rose slowly, stiffly, as if he was one of the great kings buried for centuries beneath the abbey, suddenly roused back to life. He walked to the front, seated himself at a grand piano.”
Harry added: “Is there anyone who doesn’t know that he sang Candle in the Wind, a version he’d reworked for Mummy? I can’t be sure the notes in my head are from that moment or from clips I’ve seen since. Possibly they’re vestiges of recurring nightmares.”
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“But I do have one pure, indisputable memory of the song climaxing and my eyes starting to sting and tears nearly falling. Nearly.”
Since that day, Elton has reportedly shared a special connection with Harry, as well as his brother, Prince William.
While Elton and Harry have had a close friendship over the years, they’ve also have had their fair share of disagreements.
For example, when Elton wanted to make his autobiography into a comic in the Daily Mail, Harry questioned his decision as it was the tabloid he and Meghan had previously taken legal action against.
Harry reveals details of party at Courteney Cox’s house
Harry wondered why Elton’ was choosing a publication that he claimed had made his life “miserable.” Elton quickly replied, saying he “wanted people to read” his book.
Elton also performed at Harry and Meghan’s wedding – and in 2019, publicly defended the couple after they had criticized the British tabloids.
For Harry, being around celebrities and spending time at legendary spots was nothing new by the time he met Meghan. In 2014, he even got the opportunity to visit Elvis Presley’s legendary Graceland estate when his friend, Guy Pelly, was getting married.
Now, spotting celebrities with other celebrities might not be the most uncommon thing in the world. But how is it for the celebrities themselves? Do they get nervous before meeting someone of particular note? Are they excited to meet someone they’ve admired from afar?
For Harry, a truly surprising story unfolded when he was invited to a party held at Friends star Courteney Cox’s home. Once there, Harry did something that wasn’t quite what any royal fan would expect.
In his book, Harry recalled the party at Cox’s house.
Psychedelic experience in the bathroom
He explained that the actress – who starred as Monica on the sitcom – was “traveling, on a job, and didn’t mind if we crashed at her place.” Once there, he drank plenty of alcohol – and found “a huge box of black diamond mushroom chocolates” that was “for everybody” at the house party.”
Harry went on to grab several, “gobbled them, washed them down with tequila.” He wrote that he had a psychedelic experience in the bathroom.
“Beside the toilet was a round silver bin, the kind with a foot pedal to open the lid. I stared at the bin. It stared back. Then it became… a head. I stepped on the pedal and the head opened its mouth. A huge open grin,” he said.
“I laughed, turned away, took a piss. Now the loo became a head too. The bowl was its gaping maw, the hinges of the seat were its piercing silver eyes. It said, ‘Aaah’.”
Harry went on to describe how he thought the idea of staying at Courteney Cox’s house was “highly amusing,” considering he is a “fanatic” fan of Friends.
He referred to the characters Monica (Courteney Cox) and her co-star Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry).
“I think I might’ve watched every episode of ‘Friends’”
Courteney returned home later and allowed her guests to stay the night.
“I was still confused because she was Monica, and I was a Chandler, I wondered if I’d ever work up the courage to tell her. Was there enough tequila in California to get me that brave?”
Not only did Harry write about his experience from Cox’s home. Moreover, the Prince revealed that the legendary Friends television show helped him through some tough times.
In 2014, he explained that he “stopped going out” entirely because of his anxiety. However, after returning from his second tour in Afghanistan, he found comfort in watching Friends.
“Day after day, night after night, I sat around eating takeaway, watching 24. Or Friends. I think I might’ve watched every episode of Friends in 2013. I decided I was a Chandler,” Harry explained.
“People often speculated that I was clinging to my bachelor life because it was so glamorous. Many evenings I’d think: if only they could see me now. Then I’d go back to folding my underwear and watching [the Friends episode] ‘The One with Monica and Chandler’s Wedding.’ “
As of today, Friends is considered one of the greatest sitcoms in history, remaining on television for ten seasons and a total of 236 episodes.
Courteney Cox made millon on ‘Friends’
More than 50 million American viewers watched the finale, which was even broadcasted on Times Square in New York. Courteney Cox – alongside Jennifer Aniston as Rachel, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe, Matt LeBlanc as Joey, Matthew Perry as Chandler, and David Schwimmer as Ross – became a worldwide superstar through her performance.
Friends was a phenomenon, and Courteney and her co-stars were paid generously. In the final seasons, it’s said that the main cast earned a staggering $1 million per episode.
Still to this day, though it’s been 18 years since the last episode aired, the cast is said to earn about $20 million per year just from the reruns. That’s because they get two percent of the show’s syndication revenue, as reported by The Independent. In addition, Netflix reportedly paid $80-$100 million just to keep the show on its platform through 2019.