Andrew Lloyd Webber says he feels ‘sadness’ over coronation after son’s death

The acclaimed composer’s son died in March after suffering from gastric cancer

Ellie Muir
Friday 05 May 2023 10:59 BST
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Andrew Lloyd Webber has opened up about coping with the grief following the death of his son, as he prepares for the King’s coronation this weekend.

In March, Lloyd Webber’s son, Nicholas, who was also a composer, died having suffered from gastric cancer aged 43.

Lloyd Webber had to deal with the grief while preparing for his special role at the King’s coronation, having written and composed an anthem for the coronation on 6 May, titled “Make A Joyful Noise”, which will be performed live for the very first time at the service at Westminster Abbey.

It will also be recorded live at the ceremony, after which it will be made available to listen to and download by the public.

In a new interview with The Telegraph, Lloyd Webber said that it will be of “considerable sadness” to be in Westminster Abbey without his son tomorrow.

“One of the things is that I haven’t properly taken it all in yet, and I think once the Coronation is over, and my small part of it is done, I do need to think about what I will do next,” he said of coping with the grief.

“But I was brought up by my mother to think, ‘whatever you’ve got, if you’ve got any kind of talent, you’ve got to get on and keep going’. I think that’s good advice, but if I’m being honest I haven’t fully absorbed it yet.”

The 75-year-old revealed in the interview that the King sent his condolences when Nicholas died.

“He not only sent me two letters about my son but, typically for him, rather than sending flowers, he has sent bulbs that could be planted,” Lloyd Webber said.

Lloyd Webber said he was ‘shattered’ by his son’s death

“You’re prepared for funerals, but not for the loss of a kid,” he said.

“[Nick] had it all before him – that’s the sad thing. Nick had no side to him at all –  he was the happiest I ever knew him when he rented a little cottage in Wiltshire, and he had his piano and he was recording stuff.”

Nicholas was diagnosed with gastric cancer 18 months before his death. He is the eldest of Lloyd Webber’s five children and is known for his work scoring the BBC One series Love, Lies and Records, and the film The Last Bus.

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