The Royal Command Performance (x)
4th November 1963 → This was the night of The Beatles’ famous appearance at the Royal Command Performance at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London, in the presence of the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret. During their performance, John Lennon passed into Royal Variety history when he made his celebrated suggestion that those in the cheap seats should clap their hands while the rest could just rattle their jewellery.
The Beatles’ appearance was a triumph. However, they declined all subsequent invitations to reappear on the show, despite repeated attempts to lure them back.
❝We managed to refuse all sorts of things that people don’t know about. We did the Royal Variety Show, and we were asked discreetly to do it every year after that, but we always said, ‘Stuff it.’ So every year there was a story in the newspapers: ‘Why no Beatles for the Queen?’ which was pretty funny, because they didn’t know we’d refused. That show’s a bad gig, anyway. Everybody’s very nervous and uptight and nobody performs well. The time we did do it, I cracked a joke on stage. I was fantastically nervous, but I wanted to say something to rebel a bit, and that was the best i could do.❞ - John Lennon (1970)