John Lennon Protest Letter to Queen of England Found in Used Record Sleeve

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John Lennon photographed in London on July 19, 1971.

The note is valued at an estimated $72,000.

A letter John Lennon wrote to Queen Elizabeth in 1969 protesting the country's involvement in foreign wars and a Plastic Ono Band song falling down the charts has been found inside a record sleeve in a man's attic. 

The man who bought the record as part of a used-item sale for $10 wishes to remain anonymous, CNN reports, but the letter is valued at an estimated £60,000 ($72,000).

In the letter, Lennon states that he is returning his honorary MBE (Member of the British Empire) medal that all the Beatles received in 1965 "in 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."

"Cold Turkey" was a single released by Lennon and wife Yoko Ono's Plastic Oko Band. It spent eight weeks on the U.K.'s Official Charts, peaking at No. 14. 

Lennon signed the note, "John Lennon of Bag," playing on the term "bagism" he and Ono coined during their late-'60s peace campaign as a way to satirize prejudice and stereotyping.

This is not, however, the actual letter that Lennon sent to the Queen. A memorabilia expert theorized to CNN that this draft was never sent because of the smudged ink. 

"If you're writing to The Queen, you want the letter to look pretty perfect, you don't want the ink to be smudged," he said. "This suggests that he wrote a second version of the letter, which was the one that was actually sent to The Queen."



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