Was the Champions League Anthem played during the coronation? Handel's Zadok the Priest similarities explained

Handel's Zadok the Priest may sound very familiar to Champions League fans

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Football fans tunig in to watch the coronation might recognise one of the songs featured during the service.

King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla will be coronated at Westminster Abbey on Saturday, 6 May. Music will play a key role in the ceremony and will include a number of traditional tracks.

Theatre impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber and Scottish film score composer Patrick Doyle, whose credits include Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire and Gosford Park, are among those who have been recruited to create music for the day. Like that of his mother before him, Charles’s coronation will have a soundtrack featuring music by the likes of Ralph Vaughan Williams, Edward Elgar and George Frideric Handel.

In a modern twist, there will also be music from Sir Karl Jenkins, one of the most-performed living composers in the world. Fanfares will be played by the State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry and the Fanfare Trumpeters of the Royal Air Force.

But one track in particular might stand out to football fans - they might recognise it as sounding similar to the Champions League Anthem. Here's all you need to know:

Was the Champions League Anthem played during the coronation?

Handel's coronation anthem Zadok the Priest has been played at the crowning of every British monarch since 1727. Dating back to the 18th century it was given a new lease of life in 1992 when Tony Britten rearranged it and transformed it into the Champions League Anthem.

The traditional Handel version will be played during the coronation of King Charles III so it is different to the football track, but that is the reason why it sounds familiar to football fans.

What are the Champions League Anthem's lyrics

The lyrics alternate between English, French and German: Ce sont les meilleures équipes, Sie sind die allerbesten, Mannschaften, The main event, Die Meister, Die Besten, Les grandes équipes, The champions, Une grande réunion, Eine große sportliche, Veranstaltung, The main event, Ils sont les meilleurs, Sie sind die Besten, These are the champions, Die Meister, Die Besten, Les grandes équipes, The champions

Why does it sound like the Champions League Anthem?

George Frideric Handel's Zodak the Priest was used as the basis for the Champions League Anthem by Tony Britten. He rearranged the classical track and wrote fresh lyrics in English, French and German.

Speaking about the track in 2013 to the Croydon Advertiser, Tony said: "I had a commercials agent and they approached me to write something anthemic and because it was just after The Three Tenors at the World Cup in Italy so classical music was all the rage. Hooliganism was a major, major problem and UEFA wanted to take the game into a completely different area altogether. There's a rising string phase which I pinched from Handel and then I wrote my own tune. It has a kind of Handelian feel to it but I like to think it's not a total rip-off."

The Stone of Destiny is pictured inside Westminster Abbey. Picture: SUSANNAH IRELAND/POOL/AFP via Getty ImagesThe Stone of Destiny is pictured inside Westminster Abbey. Picture: SUSANNAH IRELAND/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
The Stone of Destiny is pictured inside Westminster Abbey. Picture: SUSANNAH IRELAND/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Has Zadok the Priest been used at coronations before?

George Frideric Handel was a composer born in Germany in 1685, after training in Halle and working in Hamburg he moved to Britain in 1712. He spent the bulk of his career in Britain and became a naturalised British subject in 1727.

Considered one of the greatest composers of his age he wrote four coronation anthems for the crowning of King George II in 1727. It included Zadok the Priest as well as The King Shall Rejoice, My Heart is Inditing, and Let Thy Hand Be Strengthened.

Since its first use in 1727, Zadok the Priest has been part of the soundtrack for every coronation since George II. It was played during the crowning of Elizabeth II in 1953.

What are the lyrics of Zadok the Priest?

Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anointed Solomon king.And all the people rejoiced and said:God save the King! Long live the King! God save the King!May the King live for ever. Amen. Hallelujah

The song's title come from the biblical figure of Zadok. He was the High Priest of Israel during the reigns of David and Solomon.

His role in the anointing of King Solomon is described in the Book of Kings verses 1:34-45, from which Handel's anthem draws its lyrics. The words remain the same no matter the sex of the soverign, unlike the United King's national anthem.

God Save the King also draws from the same biblical passage as Zadok the Priest for its lyrics. Both feature God Save the King in the words, however the national anthem changes depending on the sex of the monarch - having been God Save the Queen between 1953 and 2022.

What has been said about coronation music?

Military conductor Lieutenant Colonel David Barringer previously revealed that the monarch had the final say over a list of choices presented to him. "The first march we’ll play is Coronation Bells as we leave Westminster Abbey,” he says. "Then there’s The King’s Company of course, and then the final march that we play is called The King’s Guard.”

For the first time at a major royal event, marching bands will use earpieces with a form of electronic metronome called a click track to keep time. The procession music will end with a rendition of the National Anthem in Buckingham Palace Gardens before three cheers are given to the King.