At 95-years-old, Queen Elizabeth II is the oldest monarch to have reigned in Britain, as well as the oldest reigning female monarch in international history. She's still more than going strong, but considering we've heard a lot of the UK's national anthem, 'God Save The Queen,' lately, it's given us a thought: will the song stay the same after Her Majesty passes away?
The anthem is sung at patriotic ceremonies, from major sporting events such as the Olympics, to whenever the Queen makes a public appearance. However, following the Queen's death, the national anthem will sound very different. As heir apparent to the throne, Prince Charles will follow in his mother's footsteps to become the UK's official monarch. The national anthem will then revert to its original lyrics, which are largely the same except for one crucial difference: 'Queen' will be substituted for 'King'.
The current lyrics to the national anthem are as follows, although usually only the first verse is actually sung.
God save our gracious Queen!
Long live our noble Queen!
God save the Queen!
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us,
God save the Queen.
Thy choicest gifts in store
On her be pleased to pour,
Long may she reign.
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause,
To sing with heart and voice,
God save the Queen.
According to the official Royal Family website, the original version of the song, 'God Save The King' was "first publicly performed in London in 1745, which came to be known as the National Anthem at the beginning of the nineteenth century.
"In September 1745 the 'Young Pretender' to the British Throne, Prince Charles Edward Stuart, defeated the army of King George II at Prestonpans, near Edinburgh.
"In a fit of patriotic fervour after news of Prestonpans had reached London, the leader of the band at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, arranged 'God Save The King' for performance after a play. It was a tremendous success and was repeated nightly.
"This practice soon spread to other theatres, and the custom of greeting monarchs with the song as he or she entered a place of public entertainment was thus established.
"There is no authorised version of the National Anthem as the words are a matter of tradition. Additional verses have been added down the years, but these are rarely used."
While obviously it makes perfect sense for the national anthem to revert back to 'God Save The King,' we reckon it'll still take some getting used to. And we don't want to think about that anyway, considering the Queen is a total... well, queen, who's still carrying out royal engagements into her mid-nineties. What. A. Woman.
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