Veteran singer Neil Diamond missed out on a lengthy chat with Britain's Queen Elizabeth II at a London concert on Monday (19Nov12) because the royal was more interested in quizzing his wife about horses.

The Sweet Caroline hitmaker had hoped he would get a chance to talk openly with the monarch after he was invited to perform for her at the annual Royal Variety Show.

But while backstage, the Queen struck up a conversation with Diamond's wife Katie MCNeil about her favourite animal, leaving the singer to chat to her husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, instead.

Diamond tells U.K. series The One Show, "I had the most fun. I got the chance to sing to Her Majesty, which was the reason for our trip over here. It was unique and extraordinary. I had a chance to speak to Her Majesty during intermission before I went on.

"We had a nice chat but she really wanted to chat to my wife about horses. They did talk, and had a nice conversation. I did chat with Prince Philip for a little bit."

However, the star insists it was an honour to play for royalty, insisting, "Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful experience. I don't think I'll forget it."