RFU to stick with God Save the Queen

An anthem4england supporter emailed the RFU to point out that England’s Commonwealth Games governing body has recently held a poll, involving the public and English athletes, upon which anthem should be used to celebrate England’s success at the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in Dehli.

He asked why the RFU did not follow suit. This is the response:

Thanks for your mail. We are aware of the Commonwealth Games survey as we promoted ourselves on our Facebook site given our 7s team will play a key role at the Games. However we have no plans to change the anthem we use for games as we have always had strong links to our royal family and Prince Harry is our vice patron and we think that is the appropriate anthem to use and our member clubs agree. We realise that others have a different view and we accept that but for now we will stay with God Save the Queen.


Peter Thomas
Director of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs
Rugby Football Union
Whitton Road

The patron of Welsh Rugby is the Queen, and the Vice Patron is Prince William, yet they seem to be able to get away with singing a Welsh anthem.

The Patron of Scottish Rugby is Princess Anne, and the Scots seem to get away with a Scottish anthem. Princess Anne doesn’t sing God Save the Queen when attending Murrayfield for diplomatic reasons, but she belts out Scotland the Brave. She once remarked of the English rugby crowd “I wonder why they don’t sing Land of Hope and Glory instead”.

So what’s the big deal about God Save the Queen and Prince Harry being the Vice Patron of English Rugby?

9 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Gordon says:

    The English Rugby establishment seem (as many English institutions) to consider themselves to be the last bastions of Britishness and seem to be holding onto Unionism with every ounce of the being.

    It does seem to be a age related issues, younger people seem more inclined to favour English’ness’ (outside of our private schools who surround their pupils in Britishness).

    Have you written to Peter Thomas pointing your findings ? Would be interesting to see the follow up correspondence.

  2. Gareth says:

    Hi Gordon, I believe that Steve has written back to the RFU, I’ll let you know if he gets a response.

  3. tim says:

    The RFU is still run by a load of old fuddy duddies from the so called establishment.
    Supporters at Twickenham should sing Jerusalem and drown out God save the Queen which is an embassasing set of words set to dreary boring music. Eventually they will get the point.
    My first priority is ‘Proud to be English’

  4. AlanHarvey says:

    It should not be a case of either ‘God Save the Queen’ or a specific England anthem (hopefully ‘Land of Hope and Glory’) at Twickenham and Wembley – but rather a case of BOTH of them whenever England play any international sport. Likewise ‘God Save the Queen’ should also be played as well as ‘Flower of Scotland’ at Murrayfield and Hampden Park, and as well as ‘Land of my Fathers’ at Cardiff. More importantly, however, the IRFU must insist that if the dreadful ‘Soldiers’ Song’ is played at Lansdown Road together wit ‘Ireland’s Call’ then ‘God Save the Queen’ must be played also – after all approx. a third of the Irish side are Loyal Ulsterman!

    • Sandy Constable says:

      It really is time for England to be able to have its own ‘identity’ at any sporting event or major gathering of English supporting people. It isn’t a question of not wanting to show our respect to The Monarchy, it’s about being able to have pride in our own country. The Monarchy is about representing a group of countries united together by occupier of the ‘crown.’ This shouldn’t then by used by the English singing it as our national anthem as The Monarchy isn’t singularly English. I advocate and support the use of either Land of Hope and Glory or Jerusalem as our own identity. We need to have some pride in our own country and not be pushed into having the imperial monarch’s tune thrust upon us. As a nation we deserve more.

  5. Jerusalem always wins polls on the matter, and the RFU are just a bunch of ‘old farts’ Time to change the anthem for an English one!

    P.S. I like many people have no issue reconciling Englishness with Britishness, – Proud to be both!

  6. Tom Jackson says:

    Following the successes by the rugby team, apart from
    Ireland, I wrote that the scores were great but pity
    about the musical score, ” God Save the Queen”

  7. […] RFU informed an anthem4england supporter that they would stick with God Save the Queen because “we have always had strong links to our […]

  8. Ross Luckham-Bulmer says:

    England cannot HAVE a “national anthem”, because England is NOT a nation. It is a sovereignty, hence the imposition of “God Save The Queen”. How this can still be considered an “anthem” when the majority of the English are NOT monarchists is yet another consideration. We cannot have “Jerusalem” because it is a CHRISTIAN hymn, and, in a very few years, Christians in this country will be a minority. Likewise, “Land of Hope and Glory” contains the line “Who are born of thee”, when many of our population are NOT, or, even if second or third generation, do not conside,ror desire themselves to be, part of this country. Perhaps like Spain, we should adopt a piece of music with NO lyrics. There are many who would probably consider the theme of “Eastenders” to be representative of our worn-down, sold-out, miserable land. Anyone wish to argue the toss in an intelligent way?

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Random Quote

Jerusalem is far more stirring, although William Blake’s words are possibly too religious for this secular age. And Land Of Hope And Glory probably smacks too much of the Last Night Of The Proms.

— Tony Parsons, The Mirror

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