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Lennon's medal unearthed in Britain's royal vaults

world Updated: Jan 07, 2009 10:45 IST
John Lennon

A medal rejected by Beatles frontman John Lennon, along with a protest letter sent by him to the Queen, has been found in the vaults of St James's Palace in London, forty years after the cult icon sent the medal back in 1969.

All four members of the British rock and roll group 'Beatles' were made 'Members of the British Empire' in 1965 but John returned his medal in 1969 as a mark of protest against England's support for America's involvement in the Vietnam War, the Contactmusic reported.

Now, palace officials have re-discovered the royal insignia along with the letter written by Lennon.

The letter reads, "Your Majesty, I am returning my MBE as a protest against Britain's involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against 'Cold Turkey' slipping down the charts. With Love, John Lennon."

Cold Turkey is a track Lennon released with the Plastic Ono Band.

A spokesperson for the palace said, "John Lennon's MBE is being taken good care of and is in storage at the Central Chancery. It has been retained since the day Lennon returned it, but in order to decide whether the medal could go on display in a museum, we would have to establish ownership first. It could be up to Yoko Ono as she is the custodian of John Lennon's estate."

John Lennon was shot dead on 8 December 1980, by a lunatic Mark David Chapman and was cremated in Hartsdale, New York.