Watch CBS News

Paul McCartney on essay he wrote about Queen Elizabeth when he was 10 years old

McCartney recalls prize-winning school essay on queen
Paul McCartney recalls prize-winning school essay on Queen Elizabeth 00:52

In a CBS News special about Queen Elizabeth II, Sir Paul McCartney, who has met the monarch multiple times, says he would describe her as "down to Earth."

"I think the thing about the Queen is that she's – she's royal, so you look up to her cause she's royal. But she's very down to Earth," the singer-songwriter told "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King.

McCartney's connection to the queen goes back to when he was a young boy.

"Let's go to Paul McCartney at 10. What happened at 10?" King asked McCartney.

"Because the coronation was approaching, ... there was a competition for all the schools in England you had to write an essay on the monarchy," McCartney said. "And I liked that idea."

Queen Elizabeth's coronation was in June 1953, when she was 27 years old.

McCartney's essay "had the lyrics of a love song, as Paul wrote about 'our lovely young Queen,'" King said.

"And lo and behold, I actually won it. I won my division," McCartney said. "And I'm very nervous because they called out my name. … And I, like, stumbled up with legs of jelly, and it was the first time I'd ever kind of really been on a stage."

McCartney, former President Barack Obama and a maid of honor to the queen at her coronation reflect on the extraordinary reign of Elizabeth II in "The Queen Carries On: A Gayle King Special." The special airs Friday, May 14 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS and will be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount +.

Preview: "The Queen Carries On: A Gayle King Special" 03:47
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.