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The title of Freedom of the City is an honorary title granted by a city or corporation. It is granted to individuals to recognise exceptional services, usually to the city, or occasionally to the nation. Since the enactment of the Honorary Freedom of Boroughs Act 1885, councils of boroughs and cities in England and Wales have been permitted to resolve to admit “persons of distinction” to be honorary freemen. This list is based on that published by the City of Liverpool.
The City of Liverpool granted the four Beatles with the title of Honorary Freedom of the City of Liverpool, on March 7, 1984. An official ceremony for Paul McCartney was organized on November 28th, 1984, prior to the first UK screening of “Give My Regards To Broad Street“ at the Odeon Cinema. From Club Sandwich N°35, 1984:
He received a gold-framed scroll honouring him as a Freeman of the City. Hundreds of fans gathered outside the library to greet him in the centre of Liverpool, a few minutes walk from the Cavern Club. The ceremony was widely covered by television crews and journalists both from the UK and abroad.From Club Sandwich N°35, 1984
From Liverpool Echo, November 23, 2014:
Hands in his pockets, Paul McCartney walked up to the podium to receive Liverpool’s highest honour. The Liverpool legend accepted the Freedom of the City award […] in November 1984.
Beatles tunes filled the book-lined room in the Picton Library as the Lord Mayor handed the Freedom scroll to Paul, the only surviving band member to collect his in person.
He said afterwards: “I’d like to think it’s the people of Liverpool giving it to me. If that’s true, it’s the greatest honour.”
Surprisingly, the Beatles only received their awards 14 years after breaking up. Liverpool councillors in their 1960s heyday apparently disliked the band’s celebrity lifestyle. […]
I did feel very nervous, but it’s a great honour. I would like to think it’s the people of Liverpool giving it to me. If that’s true, then it’s the greatest honour.Paul McCartney, during a press conference in the Picton Library
Last updated on April 4, 2020
The Beatles Diary Volume 2: After The Break-Up 1970-2001
"An updated edition of the best-seller. The story of what happened to the band members, their families and friends after the 1970 break-up is brought right up to date. A fascinating and meticulous piece of Beatles scholarship."
We owe a lot to Keith Badman 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 after the break-up and how their stories intertwined together!