Arise, Sir Richard! Ringo Starr is knighted for services to music

Ringo Starr is to be knighted in the Queen’s 2018 New Year’s honours list, it has been announced.

It’s great! It’s an honour and a pleasure to be considered and acknowledged for my music and my charity work, both of which I love. Peace and love. Ringo
Ringo Starr

The 77-year-old drummer and singer will become Sir Richard Starkey for services to music, after being made a Knight Bachelor. In 1965 Starr, along with the other Beatles, had been made an MBE.

Ringo Starr with his MBE, 26 October 1965

Starr has never been particularly politically outspoken, but in September 2017 told the BBC’s Newsnight that he would have voted in favour of Britain leaving the European Union. It is not known whether this influenced the pro-Brexit Conservative government’s decision to award him the knighthood.

Starr’s acceptance of the knighthood suggests a change of heart since 2003, when he recorded the song Elizabeth Reigns for his album Ringo Rama. The song’s lyrics suggested opposition towards the monarchy, and even ends with the spoken aside: “Well, there goes me knighthood.”

A letter unsent
Entombed in cement
And hung from the hanging tree
God save the Queen
If you know what I mean
We don’t really need a king

Six hundred servants
Use her detergent
Scrubbing the palace floor
And all of your sins are
As big as the Windsors
So lets point our fingers
No more

Elizabeth Reigns

Last updated: 23 March 2018
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