The British, most of whom have lived under only one monarch, are ready to brace for new changes including singing a different national anthem, ‘God save the…King,’ after the repose of Queen Elizabeth II.
Being the most well-known national anthem in the world, “God Save the Queen” is the tune paying respects to Queen Elizabeth II. The anthem will now have to change with the ascension of King Charles III.
“God Save the King” was the original title of the song and is based on a patriotic tune that was first publicly performed in London in 1745 and adopted as the country’s national anthem 250 years ago.
Adopted under the reign of George II in the 18th century, the words and melody of the anthem have no certain origin. Typically, only the first verse is sung, and the words change according to the reigning monarch.
“God Save the Queen” royal anthem used in Commonwealth countries
Each country within the United Kingdom has its own anthem. For example, Scotland has “Flower of Scotland” at specific events, but England’s “God Save the Queen” has been taken up as the official anthem.
Being the national anthem of the United Kingdom, it is also used as the royal anthem in other Commonwealth countries, such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the Bahamas.
A spokesperson for Debrett’s, a leading guide on British etiquette said, “Now that King Charles III’s reign has begun, the anthem’s changes should be in effect at any event where the song is usually performed.”
According to Debrett, the song was also adapted to “God Save the Queen” for Queen Victoria. The “God Save the King” version was then sung until 1952 when King George VI died and Elizabeth II became queen.
Public chant for the new anthem extended due to events cancelation
As a period of national mourning descends on the UK, many events are being canceled ahead of the queen’s funeral. Therefore, it is unclear when we will hear the first public chorus of the anthem.
After Thursday’s announcement of Queen Elizabeth II’s death, some standing vigil outside Buckingham Palace sang the new version, according to reports.
At one soccer match on Thursday evening in England, fans burst into the old version of the anthem when the queen’s death was announced to the crowd.
This Saturday, the Last Night of the Proms would have been the first significant moment for the new national anthem because the event is a classical British music festival culminating in a final night with a rousing rendition of the anthem.
As a marker of respect to the queen’s passing, that event was also canceled along with others such as the English Premier League.
Any official instructions are pending now given that the royal website has gone dark. On the subject of national anthems, the website says: “The words used today are those sung in 1745, substituting ‘Queen’ for ‘King’ where appropriate.”
Lyrics of the new Anthem ‘God save the…King’
When the time comes to sing the anthem again, here are the lyrics:
God save our gracious King!
Long live our noble King!
God save the King!
Send him victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us,
God save the King.
Thy choicest gifts in store
On him be pleased to pour,
Long may he reign
May he defend our laws,
And ever give us cause,
To sing with heart and voice,
God save the King