ABOUT THIS PRESS CONFERENCE:
Earlier in the year, 75 teenagers from Pennsylvania had petitioned the Queen to have the Beatles knighted. While the timing was not yet right for that high of a Royal honor, Prime Minister Harold Wilson saw his way clear to submitting each of the Beatles' names for receiving the MBE, or Members of the Most Honorable Order of the British Empire, a prestigious annual award.
The Beatles arrived at Buckingham Palace on October 26th 1965 at 11am for the Royal ceremony in which they would receive medals from Queen Elizabeth II. After the ceremony, the following press conference was held at Saville Theatre in London. The Beatles' manager Brian Epstein was also in attendence. At the time of this press conference the Beatles were well into the recording sessions for their next album, Rubber Soul.
John Lennon would later return his MBE on September 1st 1969, in protest of Britain's involvement in Biafra, Britain's continuing support of the Vietnam war, and the mindless banning of his anti-drug song 'Cold Turkey' due to drug references. Paul McCartney would later be knighted 'Sir Paul' by the Queen on March 11th 1997. He is the only Beatle to receive this honor to date.
- Jay Spangler, www.beatlesinterviews.org
PAUL: "The man shouted out, 'George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr.' And Starr was the cue for us to walk forward. Left foot first. It was just like a show."
RINGO: "Then we bowed, and then we walked to the Queen. Then we walked back and bowed, and then walked away."
JOHN: "Left foot forward! We were drilled beforehand by some big guardsman fella. And every time he was reading out the names and he got to Ringo Starr, he kept cracking up!"
RINGO: "Nice man."
PAUL: "There was nobody trying to get at us, though, they were all friendly, you know. In fact, we did about fifty autographs for all the people who were getting..."
JOHN: "We signed for all the people waiting to get their MBEs and OBEs."
Q: "You were signing autographs to these people?"
PAUL AND JOHN: "Yeah."
PAUL: "But they were all nice, you know. There was only one fella who said, 'I want it for my daughter. I don't know what she sees in you.'"
JOHN: "Did he say that?"
Q: "What did you think of meeting the Queen?"
PAUL: "She's lovely... very friendly. She's got a keen pad. And I liked the staff. I thought they'd be like Dukes and things, but they were just fellas."
JOHN: "She said to me, 'Have you been working hard lately?' And I couldn't think what we had been doing so I said, 'No, we've been having a holiday.' We'd been recording, but I couldn't remember."
PAUL: "And then she said to me, 'Have you been together long?' And I said 'Yes, many years.' And Ringo said, 'Forty years.'"
RINGO: "From the song of the same name."
PAUL: "And then she laughed."
RINGO: "Yes, she laughed."
PAUL: "We all had a little laugh."
GEORGE: "She just said, 'It's a pleasure to be giving it you,' you know That's what she said to everyone. And then she put John's on, and said to him, 'Have you been working hard?'"
JOHN: "I must've looked shattered."
RINGO: "I was just butting in while she spoke to everyone else, you know. She said, 'Did you start it all?' And I said, 'No, they did.'"
PAUL: "And then he said, 'I'm the little one.'"
RINGO: "And I said, 'I joined last. I'm the little fella,' as I am."
JOHN: "Isn't that cute?"
Source: Transcribed by www.beatlesinterviews.org from audio copies of the press conference