Today in History... Sir Paul McCartney is knighted

The knighting ceremony had all the solemnity and pomp of centuries past, but its star was one of the most successful songwriters in 20th century popular music.

In scenes of fandom not witnessed since the 1960s heyday of Beatlemania, hoards of admirers gathered outside Buckingham Palace in central London to see their idol.

Upon receiving his Most Excellent Order of the British Empire from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, former Beatle Paul McCartney dedicated it to John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, and the people of his home city Liverpool.

The honour, usual bestowed upon judges, scientists and politicians, was seen as long-overdue by many in the establishment.

"Proud to be British, wonderful day and it's a long way from a little terrace [street] in Liverpool," said Sir Paul to attendant reporters.

That little terrace street - on which 20 Forthlin Road, McCartney's childhood home, is now a museum - wasn't such a distant memory when he typed this letter to Liz, a female friend.

A letter to a female friend, written by the young Paul
McCartney, priced £8,500 ($14,025)

"Thanks for your letter. Great to hear from you again. And how were your exam results??? I hope you passed everything with flying colours. (Fran too, as I wrote.)," McCartney wrote.

"Well, 'Taste of Honey' is on the L.P., also 'Chains', 'Anna', and quite a few of our own compositions. (cough cough)..."

The note ends with McCartney's signature: "Lots of love, Paul xxxx."

Each of the listed tunes would appear on the Beatles debut album, Please Please Me, released on March 22, 1963. The four Beatles would each receive MBEs just two years later.

The "compositions" which McCartney self-deprecatingly alludes to in his letter later emerged as Love Me Do and I Saw Her Standing There, two of the best-known tunes of their era.

The one-of-a-kind letter is currently on the market and available to collectors, priced £8,500 ($14,025).

Decades later, between his knighthood in 1997 and the present day, the value of McCartney's signature has risen by 1,100%.


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