The Beatles star will be honoured for his contributions to music and charity 52 years after getting his MBE and 20 years after his band mate, Sir Paul McCartney, was appointed knight.
It will be Starr’s first time back to London’s Buckingham Palace since he became a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1965.
Macca was knighted in 1997 but Ringo had given up all hope before a letter arrived from the Palace a few weeks ago.
A close family friend said: “It came as a bolt from the blue. Ringo was totally knocked sideways but is chuffed to bits.”
The star, whose real name is Richard Starkey, was born and raised in a terraced house in Madryn Street, Liverpool, to a docker dad and bakery worker mum.
He got his first drum kit as a Christmas present aged 17, in 1957, and he promised to become “the best drummer ever”. In fact, within five years, he joined the biggest band in the world.
By the time the Beatles were formed, Ringo was already on tour with the band Rory Storm and the Hurricanes that was quite successful at the time.
Brian Epstein, The Fab Four’s manager, chose him to replace Pete Best as drummer in 1962 and music historians believe Ringo’s attitude, his comedy and acting talents were as important as his music skills because his humour and stability were often the glue that kept the group together.
Ringo was given at least one song to sing on every album, his most popular numbers being With a Little Help from My Friends and Yellow Submarine.
After the band broke up in 1970, he released several successful singles including It Don’t Come Easy, You’re Sixteen, Back off Boogaloo and Photograph.
He also made a new career in TV and film and was loved by a generation of kids for narrating cartoon Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends.
He now divides his time between Switzerland and California.
When Macca was suggested he could ask the Queen to knight Ringo, he replied: “The last time I went by she was out. Otherwise, I would have popped in and said ‘Look, love, Sir Richard Starkey’. Because I do think it’s about time.”
Shadow Culture Secretary Michael Dugher said the Beatles’ drummer had waited far too long and should finally get a top honour.
Mr Dugher said: “The Beatles changed the course of popular music forever and they continue to bring massive benefits to the UK in terms of trade and tourism. Ringo’s unique drumming was intrinsic to the music of the Beatles – just listen to A Day in the Life or Strawberry Fields Forever – and his charisma and personal charm was an intrinsic part of their act as entertainers. Ringo is a legend and has made a massive contribution to our country.”
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