Interview for CBS News • Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Paul McCartney recalls prize-winning school essay on Queen Elizabeth

TV interview • Interview of Paul McCartney
Published by:
CBS News
Interview by:
Gayle King
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Interview for CBS News

Feb 10, 1964 • From CBS News

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Sir Paul McCartney won a school essay contest ahead of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation when he was 10 years old. He describes the prize-winning paper to “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King. “The Queen Carries On: A Gayle King Special” airs Friday, May 14 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS and is available to stream live and on demand on Paramount +.SHOW MORE

Gayle King: Your connection to her goes way back. Let’s go to Paul McCartney at 10. What happened at 10?

Paul McCartney: Because the coronation was approaching, there was a competition for all the schools in England. You had to write an essay on the monarchy, and I liked that idea.

Gayle King: You grew up to be a pretty good writer, Mr. McCartney… Sir Paul.

Paul McCartney: And, lo and behold, I actually won it. I won my division. And I was very nervous because they called out my name, Paul McCartney. And I stumbled up with legs of jelly, and it was the first time I’d ever kind of really been on a stage.

On the Coronation Day of William the Conquerer, senseless Saxon folk gathered round Westminster Abbey to cheer their Norman king as he walked down the aisle.  The Normans thinking this was an insult turned upon the Saxons killing nearly all of them.  But on the Coronation Day of our lovely, youn queen, Queen Elizabeth II, no rioting, nor killing will take place because present day royalty rules with affection rather than force.  The crowds outside Buckingham Palace will be greater than they have been for any other Coronation, so will the processional route to the Abbey.  Preparations are going on all over the world, even in Australia poepl care preparing to take that long voyage to England.  In London, children, for a Coronation treat, are being given a free seat roadside.  For a quarter of a mile grandstands are being erected for the sake of these lucky children.  But the London children are not the only lucky children, for youngsters in other parts of Britain are receiving mugs with a portrait of the Queen engraved on the china.  Souveniers are being made ready for any tourists who come to see tho marvellous spectacle.  One of these being “The Coronation Loving Cup” which is designed to show both Queen Elizabeth the Second on the front and Queen Elizabeth the first on the back.  Another is a goblet which is being made Edinburgh and has a bubble enclosed in the stem, and in fancy letter, ER, is engraved on the glass.  One alternation is that the diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires in the crown are being dismantled, polished, and replaced by expert jewellers.  But after all this bother, many people will agree with me that it was well worth it.

Paul McCartney
From And the band begins to play…: Photo (

Last updated on June 3, 2022


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