Lennons returned MBE medal discovered in royal vault

January 6th, 2009 - 2:00 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Jan 6 (ANI): Late English rock musician John Lennons MBE medal, which he had returned to the Queen in November 1969 as part of a peace protest, has been discovered in a royal vault.

After 40 years of Lennon returning the medal, it has now been restored at the Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood, in St Jamess Palace, alongside the letter the former Beatles had written.

Lennon had returned the medal as he felt that he had sold out to the Establishment by accepting the honour, and had sent his chauffeur, Les Anthony, to deliver the insignia to Buckingham Palace with identical letters to the Queen, the Prime Minister and the secretary of the Central Chancery.

Your Majesty, I am returning my MBE as a protest against Britains involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against Cold Turkey slipping down the charts, Times Online quoted him as having written.

Lennon also stated that he never wanted the MBE in the first place, but Brian Epstein, the Beatles manager, had persuaded him to accept it.

Gene Grimes, founder of the Liverpool Beatles Appreciation Society, said that the insignia should not be left to gather dust in a drawer.

We thought Johns MBE must have been melted down or put in a new box and recycled. Johns decision to return the MBE should be respected, but I also believe that showing it to the public would be appropriate, since it would raise aware-ness of Johns campaign for peace, he said.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said that no decision had been made as yet as to where the medal would be placed, and that it was up to Lennons widow, Yoko Ono, to decide.

John Lennons MBE is being taken good care of and is in storage at the Central Chancery. It has been retained since the day Mr Lennon returned it, but in order to decide whether the medal could go on display in a museum, we would have to establish ownership first. It could be up to Yoko Ono as she is the custodian of John Lennons estate, the palace spokesman said. (ANI)

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