Paul McCartney Relives His Encounters with the Queen: 'God Bless You, You Will Be Missed'

·5 min read
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Shutterstock (259225b) The Queen and Paul McCartney PAUL MCCARTNEY WITH QUEEN ELIZABETH II AT THE LIVERPOOL INSTITUTE FOR PERFORMING ARTS, BRITAIN - 1996
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Shutterstock (259225b) The Queen and Paul McCartney PAUL MCCARTNEY WITH QUEEN ELIZABETH II AT THE LIVERPOOL INSTITUTE FOR PERFORMING ARTS, BRITAIN - 1996

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Paul McCartney is remembering his moments with Queen Elizabeth.

The "Hey Jude" songwriter posted a lengthy tribute to the late monarch on Facebook Friday detailing the numerous times he met the Queen throughout her record-breaking 70-year reign.

It was, posted McCartney, because her Sept. 8 passing had sent memories of their time together "flooding back."

"I feel privileged to have been alive during the whole of Queen Elizabeth II's reign," McCartney posted Friday. "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."

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"In 1953 when the Queen was crowned everyone on our street in Speke, Liverpool finally got a television set and we settled down to watch the Coronation in glorious black and white," he continued. "Looking back I am honored and amazed to see that I met Her Majesty eight or nine times and each time she impressed me with her great sense of humor combined with great dignity."

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26th October 1965: British pop group The Beatles, from left to right; Ringo Starr, John Lennon (1940 - 1980), Paul McCartney and George Harrison (1943 - 2001), outside Buckingham Palace, London, after receiving their MBE's (Member of the Order of the British Empire) from the Queen. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
26th October 1965: British pop group The Beatles, from left to right; Ringo Starr, John Lennon (1940 - 1980), Paul McCartney and George Harrison (1943 - 2001), outside Buckingham Palace, London, after receiving their MBE's (Member of the Order of the British Empire) from the Queen. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Fox Photos/Getty The Beatles receive their MBE's at Buckingham Palace

McCartney then listed all the times he met the Queen, adding a short personal memory for each event.

"I remember us being taken aside and shown what the correct protocol was," he said of the first time he met Elizabeth when The Beatles received their MBE's at Buckingham Palace on Oct. 26, 1965.

"We were told how to approach Her Majesty and not to talk to her unless she talks to us," he added. "For four Liverpool lads, it was, 'Wow, hey man.'"

McCartney next met the Queen at the Royal Albert Hall on Dec. 13, 1982, alongside his late wife Linda at an event called An Evening for Conservation, which included some orchestral re-workings of classic Beatles songs.

"I remember chatting with Her Majesty about them," McCartney revealed in his post. "She also re-introduced me to Prince Philip who said he remembered our previous meeting in the sixties!"

4th November 1963: Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother (1900 - 2002) talking to British pop group The Beatles after a Royal Variety Show at the Prince of Wales Theatre, London. (Photo by George Freston/Fox Photos/Getty Images)
4th November 1963: Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother (1900 - 2002) talking to British pop group The Beatles after a Royal Variety Show at the Prince of Wales Theatre, London. (Photo by George Freston/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

George Freston/Fox Photos/Getty

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"Our third meeting would come in the next decade," McCartney continued about the day the Queen opened the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts on June 1996. It was, wrote McCartney, "on the site of my old school that George Harrison and myself attended. She also had previously given a donation which the school was very honored to receive."

McCartney met the former monarch just one year later when he received his knighthood at Buckingham Palace for 'Services to Music' — a date he called "a very proud day for me" in his post.

"It was one of the best days ever," McCartney continued. "I felt very honored 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!"

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It wasn't until the new millennium, on June 3, 2002, that the former Beatle met the Queen again at the celebrations for her Golden Jubilee.

"We got to rock out in her garden," posted McCartney about the Buckingham Palace concert. "I joked, 'Well I suppose this will be happening next year then?' to which she replied, 'Not in my garden it won't!'"

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McCartney next met the Queen on his "home turf" at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, a place he said he and former bandmate John Lennon "visited on many occasions as students."

"It was my extreme privilege to be able to show Her Majesty around the gallery," he added.

Following a meeting with his wife Nancy Shevell at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, McCartney met the Queen on June 4, 2012, at her Diamond Jubilee celebrations in London, where Queen guitarist Brian May memorably played on the rooftop of Buckingham Palace.

"It was so special in many ways," wrote McCartney Friday about the concert. "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."

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II meets Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Cliff Richard and other peeformers on stage in the gardens of Buckingham Palace, after the second concert to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II. * Some 12,000 tickets were distributed by ballot for the Party at the Palace, and ten of thousands more gathered outside to enjoy the music. Later The Queen lit a beacon and watched a firework display. On Tuesday she will travel to the St Paul's for a service of thanksgiving. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II meets Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Cliff Richard and other peeformers on stage in the gardens of Buckingham Palace, after the second concert to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II. * Some 12,000 tickets were distributed by ballot for the Party at the Palace, and ten of thousands more gathered outside to enjoy the music. Later The Queen lit a beacon and watched a firework display. On Tuesday she will travel to the St Paul's for a service of thanksgiving. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

Stefan Rousseau - PA Images/PA Images via Getty

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McCartney's last meeting with the late monarch came on May 4, 2018, when he was made a Companion of Honour. The award was founded by King George V in 1917 to recognize outstanding achievements in the Arts, Sciences, Medicine and Public Service, and is only ever held by 65 people at one time. Along with McCartney, other current Companions include David Attenborough, Judi Dench and J.K. Rowling.

"Because of my respect and love for the Queen and her fabulous sense of humor when I 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," posted McCartney. "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."

Touchingly, McCartney closed his memories of the Queen by writing, "God bless you. You will be missed."