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John Lennon’s sarcastic letter to Queen Elizabeth found in old record sleeve

The Beatles, shortly after accepting their MBEs from Queen Elizabeth in 1965. (Photo: Hulton Archives/Getty Images)

A letter from John Lennon to Queen Elizabeth II, cheekily returning his medal as a member of the Most Excellent Order Of The British Empire, has been found in a record sleeve in a random British attic. The letter, apparently signed by Lennon, was bought for 10 pounds at a used-item sale, and is estimated to be worth something like $72,000.


Citing “Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing,” the country’s support of America’s involvement in the Vietnam war, and “‘Cold Turkey’ slipping down the charts,” the letter purports to return the honor Lennon was awarded, along with the rest of The Beatles, in 1965. According to an analyst consulted by CNN, the letter probably isn’t the final draft Lennon sent to the Queen, but rather an initial attempt, since the signature is slightly smudged. More frustratingly, nobody involved in the story seems interested in telling us which record the letter was found in, allowing us to only speculate on what other Lennon memorabilia might be hidden away somewhere in old skiffle collections or weird reggae vinyl.

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