The Beatles visited Buckingham Palace to receive their MBE medals from the Queen on October 26, 1965; two years later they wore them for the album cover photograph of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Four years later John returned his in protest at British involvement in the Biafran war, Vietnam and “against Cold Turkey slipping down the charts.”
The MBE (Members of the Order of the British Empire) that John Lennon returned to The Queen in 1969 has been found in a royal vault. The star was awarded the MBE along with the rest of The Beatles in 1965.
Lennon later decided to send it back as a form of protest.
In a letter addressed to The Queen, Lennon wrote:
“Your Majesty, I am returning my MBE as a 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. With Love, John Lennon of Bag.”
The medal, which has lain untouched for years, was found in a cabinet at the Chancery Department Of The Royal Household, reports The Daily Telegraph. It is still in its original presentation case, and is accompanied by Lennon’s protest letter. Beatles historians and fans are now calling for the MBE to be put on public display, either in a museum or at Lennon’s childhood home in Liverpool, Mendips, which was donated to the National Trust by Yoko Ono.
Lennon grew up in Mendips with his Aunt Mimi, and the legend originally sent her the medal to look after. It took pride of place on her mantelpiece until its return to The Queen.