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God Save the King—Brits Sing a Different National Anthem

Charles III crowned King at Westminster Abbey in London, May 6, 2023.
God Save the King—Brits Sing a Different National Anthem. Credit: Video Screen Capture / Twitter / The Royal Family

The British, most of whom have lived under only one monarch, are witnessing King Charles’ coronation today, May 6, and are bracing for new changes, such as singing a different national anthem, ‘God save the King.’

Being the most well-known national anthem in the world, “God Save the Queen” was the tune paying respects to Queen Elizabeth II. The anthem has now changed 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” was taken up as the official anthem.

Being the national anthem of the United Kingdom, it was 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 played in King Charles Coronation

The new National Anthem “God Save the King” has been heard in public during King Charles Coronation but that was not the first time.

After the announcement of Queen Elizabeth II’s death, some standing vigil outside Buckingham Palace sang the new version, according to local media reports.

The National Anthem on the official Royal website has been changed from ‘God save the Queen’ to ‘God save the King’.

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

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