Queen Elizabeth II signaled a new dawn in 1953. For the first time, television cameras would be allowed inside Westminster Abbey to broadcast a royal coronation.
“Until then, we hadn’t had television,” Sir Paul McCartney said in the CBS Special “The Queen Carries On: A Gayle King Special”. “And me and my younger brother have always begged our parents, ‘Can we have a television? … well, all of a sudden, for the crowning achievement, everyone got one. “
Across Britain, 27 million people have logged on, including McCartney, who also wrote an award-winning essay on the young queen.
As the young boys watched the coronation, McCartney and his brother “were really excited because when we grew up we had a king,” he said. “And then suddenly this young woman had to accept this job. And there hadn’t been some kind of queen in our lifetime.
As Elizabeth grew up in her royal reign, McCartney picked up a guitar – and clung to her youthful fascination with the Queen.
“We thought she was a pretty woman,” he told King.
“Like a baby, handsome?” King asked.
“Just like a baby,” McCartney said. “We were pre-teen boys in Liverpool. … She looked like a movie star to us.”
McCartney didn’t think he would ever be able to meet the Queen.
“Because we’re just working class boys and she’s the queen, so there’s an ocean or two between us,” he says. “So I never thought I would. Until we became The Beatles and we got pretty famous.”
The queen was clearly in tune with this time. Her Majesty understood that the Beatles were the most fashionable British export since Shakespeare.
She was criticized for it, but in 1965 the Queen made her the first rock stars to be honored at Buckingham Palace.
“And your big, fancy car goes through the palace gates.” And you’re inside, ”recalls McCartney.
McCartney said they were told “not to shake her hand; to call her ‘mum’, not ‘your majesty’; and you know, if she stops on the line and talks to you, talk- him. … Otherwise, shut up. “
McCartney, who described the Queen as “very down to earth,” continued to interact with her on several occasions, and she knighted him in 1997.
“What does it mean to you to be Sir Paul McCartney?” King asked.
“You know what it is? It’s like a school grand prize. It’s an honor,” he said. “I mean you feel like you are part of the story.”
McCartney returned the favor with the classic Abbey Road song.
“I like the idea of treating her like something ordinary, like a girl, you know?” he said. “I just started singing” Her Majesty is a pretty girl… But she doesn’t have much to say. “”
He was able to perform the song for the Queen on her Golden Jubilee celebrating her 50 years on the throne.
Even without the Queen’s full honors, McCartney said he “would still be very proud of her because I just think she’s doing a great job.”