When buying a £10 car boot sale one does not expect to find a letter from The Beatle’s member, John Lennon, yet that is precisely what happened to one person (who would like to remain anonymous).
Twenty years ago, said person found the letter inside the sleeve of a record that was part of a collection of 45rpm singles. Assuming it was a copy, the letter was tucked away in the attic until now.
In the letter, Lennon explained why he was returning his MBE. The letter reads: “Your Majesty I am returning this MBE in protest against Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against Cold Turkey slipping down the chart.
“With love John Lennon
“John Lennon of Bag.”
Darren Julien of Los Angeles-based Julien’s Auctions believes the letter was a draft version that Lennon wrote The Queen as the ink was smudged, and he doesn’t think he would have sent her a smudged copy.
Julien spoke to The Telegraph about the letter which is now valued at £60,000, saying: “If you’re writing to the Queen, you want the letter to look pretty perfect, you don’t want the ink to be smudged. This suggests that he wrote a second version of the letter, which was the one that was actually sent to the Queen.”
He added, “We’ll be doing some further research, but this could be the Beatles find of the year. There is no doubt that the handwriting is definitely that of John Lennon.”
John Lennon’s chauffeur Les Anthony brought the insignia and letter to Buckingham Palace on 25 November 1969 before also delivering handwritten letters written on Bag Productions letterhead (the company he set up with Yoko Ono) to Prime Minister Harold Wilson and the Secretary of the Central Chancery.
Each member of The Beatles was awarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire through the Queen’s 1965 birthday honours and received their awards on 26 October that year.