Full lyrics to both verses of God Save the King

For the first time in 70 years the national anthem contains the words 'God save the King'.

King Charles III and the Queen Consort stand for the national anthem at Westminster Hall on September 12 when both Houses of Parliament met to express their condolences following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Photo: John Sibley/PA Wire
King Charles III and the Queen Consort stand for the national anthem at Westminster Hall on September 12 when both Houses of Parliament met to express their condolences following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Photo: John Sibley/PA Wire

It's been sung at services around the country in the days following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, as well as sporting fixtures and ceremonies proclaiming the accession of Charles III.

At the state funeral in Westminster Abbey on Monday, both verses of God Save the King were sung. Traditionally, only the first verse is sung on official occasions.

The anthem in its present form dates back to 1745 when it was first performed publicly, although the words and tune are anonymous.

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.

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. This then spread to other theatres, and became a custom for greeting monarchs when they entered a place of public entertainment

It then came to be known at the national anthem at the beginning of the nineteenth century.

The words used today are those sung in 1745. The words 'Queen' and 'King' are substituted depending on who the monarch is.

God Save the King lyrics

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 him be pleased to pour,

Long may he reign.

May he defend our laws,

And ever give us cause,

To sing with heart and voice,

God save the King.

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