Paul McCartney Reminisces About Queen Elizabeth II Knighting Him And Trying To Joke With Her

There’s a reason people call him Sir Paul McCartney: On March 11, 1997, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, which is of course internationally recognized as a significant honor. Meanwhile, today (September 8) brings the sad news that the Queen died at 96 years old. Just recently, ahead of Elizabeth’s passing, McCartney reminisced about the day she knighted him.

On June 2, CBS aired Her Majesty The Queen: A Gayle King Special, and during it, King spoke with McCartney. She asked what it meant to him to have “Sir” prepended to his name and he said, “You know what it’s like? It’s an honor. And you think of things like what your mother or father, my mom and midwife, and my dad, just a cotton salesman, how proud they would have been, you know.”

Then, in 2018, McCartney was made a Companion Of Honour, which notes “is awarded for having a major contribution to the arts, science, medicine, or government lasting over a long period of time.” Of that, McCartney told King, “So I was feeling pretty cheeky by now. I’m thinking, you know, I’m getting quite at home here, so I said to her — she shook my hand — I said, ‘We’ve got to stop meeting like this!’ And she went, ‘What?'”

Check out a clip from the special and revisit McCartney getting knighted above.