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Lennon’s letter to queen on sale

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Darren Julien, president of Julien’s, estimates the negatives collection could sell for more than £10000 on auction (about R170000).

A collection of 26 negatives containing rare photos of John Lennon from February 1970 – a decade before he was assassinated by Mark Chapman ­- have been found and will be auctioned this year.

The intimate portraits of the controversial Beatle were taken to an event last year when people were offered free valuations from the leading celebrity memorabilia experts Julien’s Auctions.

Darren Julien, president of Julien’s, estimates the negatives collection could sell for more than £10000 on auction (about R170000).

Many other items were discovered on Julien’s valuations day, including a Beatles Christmas Show programme from 1963 signed by all four Beatles and a signed postcard. These join a more valuable letter written by Lennon to Queen Elizabeth. In it Lennon explains his reasons for returning his MBE, and it is valued by Julien’s at around £60000.

The Beatles were made Members of the Most Honourable Order of the British Empire (MBE) in October 1965. Four years later Lennon held a press conference to say he was returning his MBE.

Lennon’s decision and letter to the queen sparked a public outcry in the UK, but as he later pointed out, plenty of British people never thought he and the other Beatles deserved an MBE in the first place.

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