Nearly three months after Queen Elizabeth II announced that Richard “Ringo Starr” Starkey would be named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, the iconic Beatles drummer finally received his knighthood in a ceremony at London’s Buckingham Palace. The honor comes 53 years after all four members of The Beatles were named Members of the Order of the British Empire and 21 years after Paul McCartney became the first member of the band to be knighted.
Evidently, The Beatles’ 1965 honor was a somewhat scandalous event in its day. A few previous honorees returned their medals in disgust at the time, as rock and roll was still viewed negatively by a substantial portion of the citizenry despite the Fad Four’s unprecedented success.
Things have changed in the last half-century, so Ringo’s knighthood was universally considered a celebratory occasion this time around. There was even some levity, with the drummer declaring, “I’ll be wearing it at breakfast!” after receiving his medal.
“It means a lot actually,” Starr told the BBC. “It means recognition for the things we’ve done. I was really pleased to accept this.”
Still, the rock icon wasn’t exactly sure how much his new status would change his relationship with the commoners. When asked if he’d like to be called “Sir Ringo” going forward, the drummer said, “I don’t know yet. It’s new and I don’t know how you use it properly.”
[H/T – BBC]