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Thursday, 25 July, 2002, 15:42 GMT 16:42 UK
Queen on Beatles tour
Heather Mills and Sir Paul McCartney showing the Queen Sir Paul's works
Sir Paul McCartney showing the Queen his works
The Queen met with Sir Paul McCartney and the widow of his former Beatles partner John Lennon, Yoko Ono, during a tour of Liverpool on Thursday.

She was greeted by Ono at the official opening of a new 32.5m terminal at the recently renamed Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

Sir Paul then gave the Queen a view of his paintings at the city's Walker Art Gallery.

Sir Paul said: "I think she liked them. She said they were very colourful and I took that as a great compliment."

However, his exhibition did not include three of his pictures entitled: The Queen after her first cigarette, The Queen getting a joke and A greener Queen.

Yoko Ono and Tom Murphy meet The Queen
Yoko Ono and Tom Murphy meet The Queen
"The gallery had the opportunity to include the pictures - it was up to them," said Sir Paul.

"I would have been happy to have shown them to the Queen - they are very affectionate and I think she has a good sense of humour. She's a fine woman."

The Queen also met entertainer Ken Dodd during her trip to the city, but he left his famous tickling stick at home.

"I told the Queen that Liverpool is the city of laughter and that we export comedians and prime ministers - that was a joke," said Dodd.

The airport visit came after Ono was invited to the Jubilee rock concert at Buckingham Palace as a VIP guest.

The Queen also met Tom Murphy, the sculptor of a statue of Lennon that overlooks the check-in hall.

'Honour'

Mr Murphy said the Queen spoke about her previous meetings with Lennon.

"I said 'You must have met John Lennon a few times' and she said 'Yes I did'.

Sir Paul McCartney and  Heather Mills
Sir Paul married Heather Mills last month
"I said 'He must have been great fun' and she agreed and said he was. She seemed to like the statue. She said it was very nice."

Yoko Ono said: "It is such an honour to meet the Queen. John would have been very proud and honoured."

Ono later rejoined the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to watch a cultural parade from the balcony of Liverpool Town Hall.

Sir Paul's exhibition, which began in May, has been variously described by critics as "truly surprising" and "a dog's dinner of dreadful dawbs defying description".

As well as seeing them for herself, the Queen toured a Turner exhibition and meet gallery staff and the prize-winning children.

Many of the children's paintings are of the Queen, and are hanging in the gallery.

The Queen's visit to Liverpool came before she moved onto Manchester to open the XVII Commonwealth Games.


Click here to go to Liverpool
See also:

25 Jul 02 | Entertainment
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