Chris Walter/WireImageA signed letter that John Lennon wrote in 1969 but apparently never sent to Queen Elizabeth II explaining his decision to return his MBE (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) medal has been valued at around 60,000 pounds, or about $73,000, by officials from Julien’s Auctions. An anonymous man brought the document to The Beatles Story exhibition in Liverpool, U.K., for appraisal this Wednesday in conjunction with the attraction’s “Memorabilia Day,” where fans can find out how much their Fab Four-related collectibles might be worth.

According to, the owner of the letter recently discovered it in his attic in the sleeve of a record that was part of a collection of 45-rpm singles he bought for 10 pounds at a “car boot” sale about 20 years ago. He initially believed that the typed document was a copy, and was happily surprised to find out it was an authentic letter that the Beatles legend had signed at the bottom.

The message reads, “I am returning this MBE in protest against Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against [the Lennon solo song] Cold Turkey slipping down the charts.”

Julien’s Auctions founder Darren Julien, who inspected the letter, called it “a real stand out piece,” adding, “We’ll be doing some further research but this could be the Beatles find of the year.”

Julien theorizes that Lennon did not send this version of the letter because he smudged his signature.

“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 maintains. “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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