Paul McCartney shared a heartfelt tribute to Queen Elizabeth II a day after her passing.
McCartney, 80, who met the Queen “eight or nine times” and wrote The Beatles’ raunchy 26-second love song “Her Majesty”, told fans he was “privileged” to have been alive throughout Elizabeth’s 70-year reign .
“When I was 10 years old I entered an essay competition in Liverpool and won my division for my essay on the British monarchy, so I’ve been a fan for a long time,” he wrote on Facebook on Friday.
He then went on to detail how “she impressed me with her great sense of humor combined with great dignity” every time they saw each other, sharing photos of some of the encounters.
McCartney recalled being coached on how to interact with the late Queen in 1965, when The Beatles were awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.
“I remember being taken aside and shown what the correct protocol was. We were told how to address Her Majesty and not speak to her unless she speaks to us. For four Liverpool boys, it was “Wow, hey man.”
Whether or not the group followed Buckingham Palace decorum was never confirmed. John Lennon later said the band smoked a joint in the palace bathroom before the meeting. McCartney and George Harrison denied Lennon’s claim, and Ringo Starr said he could not remember.
The Fab Four bassist next crossed paths with Elizabeth at the Royal Albert Hall in 1982, he said.
“It was for an event [late wife] Linda [McCartney] and I attended called An evening for conservation. Part of the evening included some orchestral reworkings of some Beatles songs and I remember chatting to Her Majesty about them. She also reintroduced me to Prince Philip who said he remembered our previous meeting in the sixties!,” he wrote.
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A decade and a half later, “the Queen graciously agreed to open the Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts on the site of my old school, which 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.”
“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 spring and the sky was blue. It was a wonderful day and I remember thinking I had come a long way from a small terraced house in Liverpool!
The “Hey Jude” singer then serenaded the Queen at her Golden Jubilee in 2002.
“When Her Majesty stood on stage and received a standing ovation at the end of the show, I joked: ‘Well, it’s going to happen next year?’ to which she replied, ‘Not in my garden it won’t!’”
McCartney then explained how Elizabeth attended a painting exhibition he hosted at a Liverpool gallery he used to visit with Lennon, and that he also spoke to her at the Celebration of the Arts at the Royal Academy of Arts.
“On 4th June 2012 the Queen would be celebrating her Diamond Jubilee and it was so special in many ways. It was the first time I had performed in front of her since her last Jubilee and it was amazing to see all the people lining the Pall Mall, as well as meeting other members of the Royal Family afterwards. It was a great weekend to be British.”
The last meeting between the towering Britons came in 2018, when McCartney received the Companion of Honor medal.
“I shook her hand, leaned in and said, ‘We need to stop meeting like this,’ to which she giggled a little and continued with the ceremony. I wondered if I was being a little too cheeky after saying this, this was the Queen, but I have a feeling she didn’t mind. God bless you. You will be missed.”