John Lydon's P.I.L. play a show at O2 Forum Kentish Town. Cristina Massei/Alamy Live News Credit: Cristina Massei/Alamy Live News

John Lydon opens up about the heart-breaking loss of wife Nora to Alzheimer’s

And God save the Queen – but not the Sussexes – says John Lydon who talks about royalty, respect and his new tour.

Legendary punk rocker John Lydon has spoken candidly to Saga Magazine about the final days with his late wife Nora, who passed away in 2023 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

In a raw and emotional interview, Lydon describes the agonising decision to take his wife off the respirators that were keeping her alive.

“They said to me: ‘We really can’t do any more. Do we have your permission to stop?’ and God, what a question to have to answer. It was one of the most awful moments of my life,” he revealed.

Lydon, 68, also shares a surprising connection he felt with Nora during her illness.

“When I was seven, I almost died from meningitis and lost my memory for four years, so I understood how Nora felt on a much deeper level. But she never forgot who I was,” he said.

Despite the challenges, Lydon admitted he cherished his time as Nora’s primary caregiver.

“It was chaotic, frustrating and mind-numbingly draining, but I loved taking care of her. I miss it like mad,” he confessed.

Looking ahead, Lydon, now living alone, says he’s determined to stay busy.

“My friend and manager, Johnny ‘Rambo’ Stevens, also died last year. I’m living alone now, but I can still hear both him and Nora in my head saying, ‘Get up and do something!’, so I’m coming to the UK to do my spoken-word tour,” he shared.


The conversation also delves into some of Lydon’s past controversies. He clarified his stance on the Sex Pistols’ song God Save the Queen, insisting it wasn’t a personal attack on the Queen but a critique of the monarchy.

“It was never personal,” he explained. “It was about the institution.”

However, his feelings about her grandson, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, are a bit more personal. The former punk is definitely not a fan.

“I don’t want to be judgmental, but it’s very hard to think kindly towards them when they’re so damn nasty to their own families,” he said.

He concludes: “You can’t disrespect your parents and grandparents like that. And writing a kiss-and-tell book about your family? God that’s mean.”

John Lydon’s tour I Could Be Right will be in the UK from 1 May to 29 June.


Written by Lina Das