Paul McCartney recalls first time meeting “down to earth” Queen

Paul McCartney recalled the first time he met Queen Elizabeth II when he was 10 years old in an interview in 2021.

The Queen died yesterday (September 8) at her Balmoral estate, aged 96, bringing her 70-year reign to an end.

McCartney shared the memory of his first meeting with the monarch during an interview with CBS last year. “Because the coronation was approaching, there was a competition for all the schools in England,” he recalled. “You had to write an essay on the monarchy and I liked that idea.”

The Beatles star’s essay described the incoming royal as “our lovely young Queen” and helped him win his “division”. “I was very nervous, cos they called out my name,” he said. “I stumbled up with legs of jelly and it was the first time I’d ever really been on a stage.

“I think the thing about the Queen is that she’s – she’s royal, so you look up to her cos she’s royal. But she’s very down to earth.” Watch a clip of the interview above now.

McCartney is one of the numerous figures across the entertainment world who has paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II since the news of her death broke last night. “God bless Queen Elizabeth II,” he wrote on Twitter. “May she rest in peace. Long live The King.”

Elton John also paid tribute to the monarch during his Toronto gig last night. “She was an inspiring presence to be around — I’ve been around her and she was fantastic,” he told the crowd during the concert at the city’s Rogers Centre. “She led the country through some of our greatest and darkest moments with grace, decency and a genuine care and warmth.”

In New York, Harry Styles led his audience at Madison Square Garden in a round of applause for the Queen, heralding her “70 years of service”.

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