‘God Save The Queen’ could be replaced as England’s National Anthem, as MPs today debated whether the song should be used at sporting events, backing the idea to use a different song. Royal News.
England’s anthem is that same as that of Great Britain, and Parliament agreed that another should be used at events such as the Olympics and international football tournaments.
‘God Save the King’ was first performed in London in 1745 for George II, and has been used as the anthem for Britain ever since.
MP for Chesterfield, Toby Perkins, thinks the anthem should be something which represents England alone, not the UK. Wales and Scotland already have their own national anthems when competing as individual countries, Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau (Land of my fathers) and Flower of Scotland respectively.
“It reflects a sense that we see Britain and England as synonymous,” he said.
“This not only denies us English an opportunity to celebrate the nation that is being represented but is also a cause for resentment amongst other countries within the British Isles who feel that England have requisitioned a British song.”
‘Jersualem’ was unofficially adopted by the England team for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2014, but prior to this, Edward Elgar and A.C Benson’s ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ was used at the games. David Cameron puts his vote to ‘Jerusalem’, according to the Conservatives website. Others tout ‘Rule Britannia’ as the next anthem, and Perkins also suggested ‘I Vow To Thee, My Country’ and ‘There’ll Always Be an England’
Jacob Rees-Mogg, Tory MP for North East Somerset, opposed the idea:
“When the honourable gentleman for Chesterfield said that now English crowds take St George’s flag rather than the Union Jack, to me that’s a matter of pity, of shame, that we have given up viewing ourselves as one United Kingdom, whether we are supporting England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.”
“These expressions of the individual nationalism are a disuniting factor in our country, in a country that we ought to want to make more united,” he said.
Perkins even suggested an ‘X-Factor’ style competition to choose the new anthem. It would fall to the Ministry for Culture, Media and Sport to run the poll and find the song the people want.
For many, the objection is to the monarchist tone of God Save The Queen’, but to us, the Monarchy is synonymous with England – after all, until 1603, the Monarch was that of England, and is one of the oldest Monarchies in the world.
The bill will go to a second reading in March, to reconfirm or deny the proposal; approval from the House of Lords, followed by assent from The Queen herself, would put a new anthem in place for sporting events.
Listen to the suggested songs below:
What do you think of replacing ‘God Save The Queen’?