With the split of The Beatles in 1970 – each band member went their separate ways and continued to release solo music in the decades that followed. Their friendships had mended but their rivalries in the charts never came to an end.
John Lennon enjoyed a decade of releasing chart-topping hits before he was murdered in 1980 while George Harrison dropped ten albums across a decade, nearly all of which hit gold status. Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney have arguably been the most successful as they continue to release albums to this day.
George Harrison had turned down Royal Award
In 1997, McCartney was named the recipient of an extremely exclusive honor from The Queen herself. On March 11, 1997, McCartney attended Buckingham palace to be knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. He was granted the medal by the monarch for his “services to music”.
From that day forward, he was known as Sir Paul McCartney. On the other hand, Harrison was reportedly “insulted” by this turn of events. Harrison was confused by the fact only McCartney’s services to music were recognized by the crown. Even though Harrison (and Starr, for that matter) were as much of a part of The Beatles as he was. Lennon had died in 1980.
It is noted that a few years later, in 2000, Harrison was offered a royal honor of his own. The Queen was due to give him an OBE, but he turned it down.
Ray Connelly, a friend of The Beatles, explained how to hurt Harrison would have felt by this limp gesture, especially after McCartney was given a knighthood. Connelly said:
“Whoever it was who decided to offer him the OBE and not the knighthood was extraordinarily insensitive. George would have felt insulted – and with very good reason.”
Harrison didn’t completely miss out on the honor though. The Fab Four had already received MBEs back in 1965.