The Beatles receive their MBEs

On October 26th 1965, the Beatles collected their MBEs (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) from Buckingham Palace. The boys were awarded the MBEs by Queen Elizabeth II for their contribution to music.

John Lennon later returned his MBE in protestation over Britain's involvement in the Vietnam War.

"Although we didn't believe in the Royal Family, you can't help being impressed when you're in the palace, when you know you're standing in front of the Queen. It was like in a dream. It was beautiful. People were playing music, I was looking at the ceiling - not bad the ceiling. It was historical. It was like being in a museum."

John Lennon

"Some equerry to the Queen, a Guards officer, took us to one side and showed us what we had to do: 'Approach Her Majesty like this and never turn your back on her, and don't talk to her unless she talks to you.' All of those things. For four Liverpool lads it was, 'Wow, hey man!' It was quite funny. But she was sweet. I think she seemed a bit mumsy to us because we were young boys and she was a bit older."

Paul McCartney

"The Queen was great. Obviously I'm a big Queen fan now. It was obvious she was doing her best to make everyone feel relaxed and not nervous. When she gave me my medal, she said, 'It's a pleasure to present you with this,' and I said, Thank you."

Ringo Starr

"We never smoked marijuana at the investiture. What happened was we were waiting to go through, standing in an enormous line with hundreds of people, and we were so nervous that we went to the toilet. And in there we smoked a cigarette - we were all smokers in those days.
Years later, I'm sure John was thinking back and remembering, 'Oh yes, we went in the toilet and smoked,' and it turned into a reefer. Because what could be the worst thing you could do before you meet the Queen? Smoke a reefer! But we never did."

George Harrison

The Beatles with their MBEs, October 26th 1965. 

The Beatles with their MBEs, October 26th 1965. 

The Beatles with their MBEs, October 26th 1965. 

The Beatles with their MBEs, October 26th 1965. 

The Beatles with their MBEs, October 26th 1965. 

The Beatles with their MBEs, October 26th 1965. 

Paul McCartney with the Daily Mail newspaper, 1965.

Paul McCartney with the Daily Mail newspaper, 1965.

The Beatles with their MBEs, October 26th 1965. 

The Beatles with their MBEs, October 26th 1965. 

The Beatles with their MBEs, October 26th 1965. 

The Beatles with their MBEs, October 26th 1965. 

The Beatles with their MBEs, October 26th 1965. 

The Beatles with their MBEs, October 26th 1965. 

The Beatles with their MBEs, October 26th 1965. 

The Beatles with their MBEs, October 26th 1965. 

The Beatles with their MBEs, October 26th 1965. 

The Beatles with their MBEs, October 26th 1965. 

The Beatles with their MBEs, October 26th 1965. 

The Beatles with their MBEs, October 26th 1965. 

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr leaving to pick up their MBEs, October 26th 1965. 

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr leaving to pick up their MBEs, October 26th 1965.