The Beatles to receive MBEs – announcement

Friday, June 11, 1965

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On this day, it was announced that The Beatles were appointed Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) by Queen Elizabeth II after Prime Minister Harold Wilson nominated them for the award. In protest – the honour was at that time primarily bestowed upon military veterans and civic leaders – some conservative MBE recipients returned their insignia.

At the request of The Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein, Paul McCartney and Jane Asher had to shorten their holidays in Portugal, to come back to London on the day of the announcement, so that all four Beatles were in the country.

Paul McCartney was interviewed by Ronald Burns on the telephone for the BBC radio show Late Night News Extra. The programme was broadcast that night between 10.35 pm and 11.30 pm. A press conference with the four Beatles was also organized on the following day.

The official ceremony would be held on October 26, 1965 at Buckingham Palace.

What a great surprise to come home to. What does this make my dad?

Paul McCartney – Interviewed at the airport. From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman

Paul was looking through the pile of fan mail in our dressing room a few weeks back and he came across this envelope that had ‘From the Prime Minister’ written on it. It must have been there at least a couple of days. He opened it and the letter said that he was being considered for an award and would he sign the enclosed form. We all said, ‘We wish we had one,’ then dived through the rest of the mail and found that we did have one – one each!

George Harrison – Press conference on June 12, 1965 – From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman

From 11 June 1965: The Beatles to be awarded MBEs | The Beatles Bible
From Meet the Beatles for Real: 50 years ago: Beatles learn about MBE!

Last updated on September 13, 2022

Going further

The Beatles Diary Volume 1: The Beatles Years

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We owe a lot to Barry Miles for the creation of those pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details - a day to day chronology of what happened to the four Beatles during the Beatles years!

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