George Harrison of The Beatles turned down OBE honor from the Queen

By Daniel S Levine,

George Harrison reportedly turned down the Order of the British Empire honor in 2000, just before his death in 2001.

Harrison would have received the honor for his successful music career, but the citation would have focused on just his contributions to the Beatles. “He was a member of a band that many people would say is the best thing that Britain has ever produced, and possibly the best in the world, The Beatles,” the citation read, according to the Daily Mail, which obtained documents under the Freedom of Information laws. The “My Sweet Lord” singer would have received the honor on the New Year Honours List of 2000.

Journalist Ray Connolly claims that Harrison turned it down because he felt insulted, since fellow Beatle Paul McCartney received knighthood back in 1997. “Whoever it was who decided to offer him the OBE and not the knighthood was extraordinarily insensitive,’ Connolly told the Daily Mail. “George would have felt insulted – and with very good reason.”

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport had come up with the idea of giving Harrison an OBE. Harrison, McCartney, Ringo Starr and John Lennon all received MBEs in 1965.

Harrison, who died in November 2001, wrote two of the best-known late Beatles songs, “Here Comes The Sun” and “Something.” As a solo artist, he scored hits with “My Sweet Lord,” “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth),” “Got My Mind Set On You” and many more. You can check out our Top 10 Harrison songs here.

Just last week, a new collection of Beatles recordings were released on iTunes to extend the copyrights. The set includes tracks recorded in 1963.

image: Wikimedia Commons


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