March 11, 1997 was yet another day to remember for Beatles fans as Paul McCartney was bestowed knighthood by the Queen of England for his “services to music,” the first among his former band mates to have been given such honor.
It was an honor many believed to be long overdue, but on this day 17 years ago, at age 54, Paul McCartney was finally knighted for his invaluable contributions to music. This came more than 30 years after all four Beatles members were honored with the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE).
An article on CNN, dated March 11, 1997, wrote about the moment in detail:
… Outside the palace, it was just like the old days as central London was treated to the screaming adulation that marked Beatlemania in the 1960s. Hundreds of tourists and die-hard fans of the Fab Four, wearing Beatles T-shirts and badges, gathered outside the palace gates for a glimpse of McCartney. As they waited they sang old Beatles songs and played Beatles cassettes on sound systems. The crowds screamed as McCartney swept through the gates in his chauffeur-driven limousine and he answered with a thumbs- up.
McCartney “very gratefully received” his knighthood “on behalf of all the people of Liverpool and the other Beatles,” he said in a statement prior the ceremony. On the day itself, he was quoted by reporters as saying, “Proud to be British, wonderful day and it’s a long way from a little terrace (street) in Liverpool.”
McCartney was and still is among the most prolific songwriters in the industry. During the Beatles’ heyday, it was he along with John Lennon who penned some of the band’s biggest hits such as “Yesterday”, “Hey Jude,” and “Blackbird.” After The Beatles broke up in 1970, McCartney went on to form the band Wings with first wife Linda, and forged a solo career. He continues to be active in the music scene today, and remains to be a major influence to many.