Lennon's MBE return letter valued at $73,000

A draft letter from John Lennon to the Queen found in a £10 box of records has been valued at £60,000 ($73,316).

The astonishing piece dates to 1969 and relates to Lennon's return of his MBE in protest at the Vietnam war.

Lennon letter Queen
The letter was found in a box of records in the 1990s

Lennon writes: "I am returning this MBE in protest against Britain's involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against Cold Turkey slipping down the charts."

He has signed it at the bottom.

Each of the Beatles was awarded the MBE in 1965. Lennon's rejection of the honour led to a furore in the press, which we presume he thoroughly enjoyed.

In 2009 his MBE, and another copy of this letter, were found in a vault at St James' Palace.

Darren Julien, CEO of Julien's Auctions, valued the piece at an October 26 memorabilia day at The Beatles Story museum in Liverpool.

"My theory is that John Lennon never sent this draft because of the smeared ink", Julien said.

"If you're writing to the Queen, you want the letter to look pretty perfect, you don't want the ink to be smudged.

"This suggests that he wrote a second version of the letter, which was the one that was actually sent."

The owner is not consigning it to auction yet, but we expect a lot of interest if it does come up in the future.

We're selling an amazing piece of Lennon memorabilia, come and take a look.

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