What are the national anthem lyrics? What happens now the Queen has died, will we sing ‘God Save the King’

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The national anthem will be sung at Premier League games as well as at the coronation

God Save the King will be played as part of the crowning of King Charles III.

The national anthem has reverted to its original version now that Elizabeth II’s son is the monarch. Football fans will pay tribute to the new soverign at Premier League games this weekend.

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The late Queen died at the age of 96 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on Thursday, 8 September, Buckingham Palace announced. Charles will be coronated at Westminster Abbey on Saturday, 6 May.

King Charles III delivers his address to the nation and the Commonwealth from Buckingham Palace, London, following the death of Queen Elizabeth IIKing Charles III delivers his address to the nation and the Commonwealth from Buckingham Palace, London, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II
King Charles III delivers his address to the nation and the Commonwealth from Buckingham Palace, London, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II

Following the accession of Charles, the British national anthem will slightly change. It will return to being God Save the King, having been God Save the Queen during Elizabeth II’s reign. #

You might be wondering how exactly the lyrics will change. Here is all you need to know:

What is the national anthem of Britain?

The national anthem is God Save the King - although Queen has been substuted in to the lyrics during the reign of Elizabeth II.

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It is also the anthem used by England national teams in sports such as football and rugby.

Scotland and Wales use Flower of Scotland and Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau (Land of My Fathers) during sporting events instead of God Save the King.

God Save the King is also used by Team GB at the Olympic games - both summer and winter.

When will God Save the King be sung today?

The anthem will be sung as part of the coronation at Westminster Abbey - which begins at 11am and runs until 1pm.

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The lyrics to the national anthem have changed from “Queen” to “King” and “her victorious” to “him victorious” to mark that King Charles III has now taken over as monarch.

Football fans attending matches this weekend will sing the new national anthem to mark the coronation.

The Prince of Wales who has said he was 'moved beyond words' by the death of a teenager who died from an allergic reaction to a Pret baguette. Picture: Yui Mok/PA WireThe Prince of Wales who has said he was 'moved beyond words' by the death of a teenager who died from an allergic reaction to a Pret baguette. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire
The Prince of Wales who has said he was 'moved beyond words' by the death of a teenager who died from an allergic reaction to a Pret baguette. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

What will the lyrics of God Save the King be?

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 his be pleased to pour, Long may he reign. May she defend our laws, And ever give us cause, To sing with heart and voice, God save the King.

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References to Queen and female pronouns will be swapped for King and male pronouns.

The new anthem will be used upon the accession of Charles to King.

How long has God Save the King been our anthem?

On the Royal Family’s website it explains: “God Save The King’ was a patriotic song 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.

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“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.”

The website continues: “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.

“The words used today are those sung in 1745, substituting ‘Queen’ for ‘King’ where appropriate. On official occasions, only the first verse is usually sung.”

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