Beatles drummer Ringo Starr has been knighted for his services to music, and joked with reporters afterwards that he would wear the medal “at breakfast.”
The 77-year-old, originally from Liverpool and now based in Los Angeles, was bestowed the honour by Prince William in Queen Elizabeth’s New Year’s honours list on Tuesday.
“It means a lot actually,” Ringo told the BBC. “It means recognition for the things we’ve done. I was really pleased to accept this.”
Accompanied by his wife, Barbara Bach, Sir Ringo was knighted with a ceremonial sword to become Sir Richard Starkey.
The honour comes 53 years after the Beatles members were awarded the Member of the British Empire and 21 years after Paul McCartney’s knighthood.
The newly-knighted musician told reporters he met for dinner with McCartney last week in Los Angeles, and Sir Paul had offered him some advice for the ceremony: “Keep smiling.”
However, when asked if he wanted to be known as Sir Ringo, the musician replied: “I don’t know yet. It’s new and I don’t know how you use this (title) properly.”
He turned to one BBC reporter and quipped, “But I expect you to use it.”
Starr added he knew exactly what he’d do with his new medal.
“I’ll be wearing it at breakfast,” he joked.
He also admitted to feeling “a bit shaky today on my own” in receiving a royal title at the palace ceremony without his bandmates this time around.
“I was a bit shaky today on my own,” he said.
Ringo joined McCartney, George Harrison and John Lennon in the Beatles as a replacement drummer for Pete Best in 1962 and occasionally sang lead vocals, notably on Yellow Submarine and With a Little Help from my Friends.
He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a Beatle in 1988 and again in 2015 for his solo career after the group split up.