Give England a Song

by The Monarchist

As a Canadian supporter of our shared British Commonwealth Monarchy, I am strongly opposed to a future England formally adopting God Save The Queen as its national anthem. GSTQ is not the chattels of any particular British nation or Commonwealth country, but the historic and patriotic property of every one of Her Majesty’s loyal subjects, wherever they might live in her 16 remaining sovereign realms. The Royal Anthem belongs to not just Britain, but to all of us, even if relegated to constitutionally nominal and nostalgic pretenses.

The recent kafuffle over the playing of GSTQ in Australia during our Queen’s official opening of the Melbourne Commonwealth Games was a fresh case in point, which perfectly illustrated just how confused and out of touch we have become over the roots of our common identity. Many Australians now apparently believe that their royal and national anthems cannot co-exist, that there is a contradiction in the traditional dual allegiance we pay to Crown and Country, presumably because the Royal Anthem is also used unofficially (and unfortunately) as the national hymn of the United Kingdom. We are not British they tell themselves, we are Aussie. Advance Australia Fair should take precedence in Australia, even over that of the anthem of the Queen of Australia! It’s all so wonderfully misunderstood.

The incident highlights the need for reform and statutory recognition: The need for Britain to denationalise GSTQ and adopt it in its proper royal context; the need for England to shed its quango state image and formally adopt a national anthem like Scotland and Wales; and the need to recognize an ever increasing important reality – that our once shared and still receding Britishness has been, and is being, supplanted by a deeper fealty and affection and native attachment to our respective nations and lands.

Now I don’t believe in a rabid nationalism – the heart that beats to the nationalist drum can be repulsive and partly savage. But I do believe in a proud, gentile and emblematic attachment to country and an equally symbiotic and patriotic connection to crown, as a lasting, indeed permanent, symbol of our collective identity. We should embrace the bonds that bind without sacrificing our shared institutions. The best way to do this, in my outside humble opinion, is to officially recognize the existence of England in a federal Britain; a federal Britain that is outside Europe and firmly inside the Commonwealth. For the real tragedy is not whether Britain loses its Britishness (its national identity), but whether it loses its britishness (its cultural identity).

As for England’s national anthem, that is for England to decide. I may be an Anglophile, but I am not English enough to be of any use in that department. Just keep your dirty palms off the Queen’s anthem. Oh, and stay well clear of Zadok The Priest. That one belongs to God.

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Random Quote

…with the Scots particularly angered by England’s use of God Save The Queen – the British National Anthem! On Wednesday, please let’s have Jerusalem.

— Steve Beauchampe, Birmingham Post

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