Queen Elizabeth II once opted to watch episodes of Twin Peaks instead of an exclusive Paul McCartney gig put on for her birthday.
Following the death of the monarch aged 96 yesterday (September 8), which has prompted tributes to pour in from across the entertainment world and beyond, an NME article from 2011 has resurfaced, in which a rare insight into the Queen’s cultural taste was shared.
The interview with Twin Peaks composer Angelo Badalamenti saw the musician share a story told to him by McCartney, which saw the Queen decide to watch David Lynch’s cult classic TV show instead of a private birthday gig from the Beatle, set to take place at Abbey Road Studios.
Badalamenti told NME: “Back when Twin Peaks was kicking off around the world, I flew by Concorde to London to work with Paul McCartney at Abbey Road. He said, ‘Let me tell you a story’. Not long before we met, he’d been asked to perform for the Queen for her birthday celebrations.
“And when he met her, he started to say, ‘I’m honoured to be here tonight, your Majesty, and I’m going to play some music for you’. And the Queen says, ‘I’m sorry, I can’t stay, it’s five to eight, and I have to go and watch Twin Peaks!'”
You can also see Badalamenti tell the story on a Twin Peaks DVD box set below.
Following the Queen’s death, a 2021 interview with Paul McCartney was re-shared, which saw him reflect on his first time meeting the monarch.
He told CBS: “Because the coronation was approaching, there was a competition for all the schools in England. You had to write an essay on the monarchy and I liked that idea.”
The Beatles star’s essay described the incoming royal as “our lovely young Queen” and helped him win his “division”. “I was very nervous, cos they called out my name,” he said. “I stumbled up with legs of jelly and it was the first time I’d ever really been on a stage.
“I think the thing about the Queen is that she’s – she’s royal, so you look up to her cos she’s royal. But she’s very down to earth.”
Elton John also paid tribute to the monarch during his Toronto gig last night. “She was an inspiring presence to be around — I’ve been around her and she was fantastic,” he told the crowd during the concert at the city’s Rogers Centre. “She led the country through some of our greatest and darkest moments with grace, decency and a genuine care and warmth.”