Gay singer/songwriter SIR Elton John considers himself lucky to live in Britain, because the country is less prejudiced towards homosexuality than elsewhere in the world.

The CANDLE IN THE WIND hitmaker, who will marry partner-of-12-years David Furnish on 21 December (05) when same-sex civil partnerships become legal in England, credits Prime Minister Tony Blair's government and the Royal family with championing equal rights.

John tells gay magazine Attitude, "We're very, very lucky to live in Britain. I cannot think of a more tolerant place to live.

"And good for Tony Blair on that. You know, credit where it's due. He recognised something and has moved it on. The shift in gay rights under for the Tony Blair government has been incredible.

Furnish adds, "And with the Royal Family as well. We were both invited to (Prince) CHARLES and CAMILLA's wedding. Elton couldn't go and so they said of course, David is just as welcome and must come on his own if he wants to and that's a lovely acceptance.

"We met the Queen as a couple and she was terribly charming and accepting."

John adds, "I think that if you're honest and you're open then Britain will embrace you. Britain doesn't like a bulls**ter."