26 Oct 2009
On this day, 1965, The Beatles caused a stir when appointed as Members of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBEs). Up until then the honour had typically been reserved for those who had served in the armed forces, or notable civic leaders. Nevertheless, the band received the awards from Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace and two years on, in 1967, George and Paul can be seen wearing them on the Sgt Pepper sleeve designed by Peter Blake. In 1969, John Lennon famously returned his MBE to the Queen in protest over England's involvement in the Vietnam War.
Left: The Beatles promote 1967's new album release, from SUMMER OF LOVE by George Martin.
Right: From NOW THESE DAYS ARE GONE... The day of the MBE announcement, The Beatles were due at Twickenham to view a rough cut of Help! Lennon, fighting his conscience over the award, decided to make his own tacit protestation by lying in bed. The clock ticking, an irate Brian Epstein personally arrived at Lennon's Weybridge manor to retrieve the errant Beatle so he could make the necessary noises to the press, albeit 40 minutes late, hair still a mess.
Since 1974 Genesis has created signed limited edition books on behalf of authors and artists ranging from the Beatles to Buckingham Palace.
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