Paul McCartney Fondly Recalls His Meetings With The Queen, Including One ‘Too Cheeky’ Remark

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Sir Paul McCartney fondly remembered the late Queen Elizabeth II in a lengthy Facebook posting on Friday. He also shared some photos from their various meetings.

McCartney, 80, met the queen “eight or nine times” and also was the songwriter on the The Beatles’ 26-second love song “Her Majesty.”

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“When I was 10 years old I entered an essay competition in Liverpool and won my division for my essay about the British Monarchy, so I have been a fan for a long time,” he wrote on Facebook.

He recalled how “She impressed me with her great sense of humour combined with great dignity.”

The first time the two met was in 1965, when The Beatles were awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

“I remember us being taken aside and shown what the correct protocol was. We were told how to approach Her Majesty and not to talk to her unless she talks to us. For four Liverpool lads, it was, ‘Wow, hey man.’”

 

Queen Elizabeth III speaks to The Beatles after a Royal Variety Show at the Prince of Wales Theatre, London in 1963.
Queen Elizabeth III speaks to The Beatles after a Royal Variety Show at the Prince of Wales Theatre, London in 1963.

They next met at the Royal Albert Hall in 1982, McCartney said.

“It was at an event [late wife] Linda [McCartney] and I attended called An Evening for Conservation. Part of the evening included some orchestral re-workings of some Beatles songs and I remember chatting with Her Majesty about them. She also re-introduced me to Prince Philip who said he remembered our previous meeting in the sixties!,” he wrote.

A decade and a half later, “The Queen graciously agreed to open the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts on the site of my old school that George Harrison and myself attended,” McCartney said.

A year later, the queen knighted Sir Paul, which he said was a “very proud day for me” and “one of the best days ever.”

Paul McCartney shows Queen Elizabeth II his paintings during a visit to the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool on July 25, 2002.
Paul McCartney shows Queen Elizabeth II his paintings during a visit to the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool on July 25, 2002.

“I felt very honoured to be offered a Knighthood and of course it would have been rude to turn it down! I remember it was in the springtime and the skies were blue. It was a wonderful day and I remember thinking I’d come a long way from a little terrace house in Liverpool!”

The McCartney touch was also in effect at the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002.

“As Her Majesty was on stage receiving applause at the end of the show I joked, ‘Well I suppose this will be happening next year then?’ to which she replied, ‘Not in my garden it won’t!’”

(left to right) Ringo Starr, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison receive their MBEs (Member of the Order of the British Empire) from Queen Elizabeth II on October 26, 1965.
(left to right) Ringo Starr, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison receive their MBEs (Member of the Order of the British Empire) from Queen Elizabeth II on October 26, 1965.

“On June 4th 2012, The Queen would celebrate her Diamond Jubilee and it was so special in many ways. This was the first time I performed in front of her since her last Jubilee, and seeing all the people stretching down Pall Mall was great, as was meeting other members of the Royal Family afterwards. It was a great weekend to be British.”

The final meeting came in 2018 when McCartney was given the Companion of Honour medal.

“I shook her hand, leaned in and said, ‘We have got to stop meeting like this,’ to which she giggled slightly and got on with the ceremony. I did wonder if I was a bit too cheeky after saying this, after all this was The Queen, but I have a feeling she didn’t mind. God bless you. You will be missed.”

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