Queen's funeral viewers surprised to learn there's a second verse of 'God Save The King'

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By Phoebe Egoroff

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Viewers of Queen Elizabeth II's historic state funeral were surprised to learn that there's a second verse of the British national anthem, 'God Save The King'.

Yep, that's right, the national anthem as we know it is a lot longer than most of us thought.

Having been sung as 'God Save The Queen,' for the past 70 years, the public has been slowly but surely getting used to replacing the lyrics with "king" after King Charles III became Britain's new monarch on September 8.

wp-image-1263168988 size-full
'God Save The Queen' has become 'God Save The King' after 70 years, as King Charles III ascended to the throne earlier this month. Credit: Doug Peters / Alamy

Per the Royal website, the national anthem was first publicly performed in 1745 in London, but was not recognized as the national anthem until the 19th century.

It was first composed after Prince Charles Edward Stuart defeated King George II. The leader of the band at the Theatre Royal on Drury Lane then composed 'God Save The King,' which eventually ended up being played nightly afterward.

The original lyrics we all know and love are:

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! 

However, upon hearing the second verse being sung during the late monarch's funeral service in Westminster Abbey today, viewers were shocked to discover the national anthem was definitely longer than one verse. In fact, there are actually three verses in total, and the standard version of the anthem in the United Kingdom is as follows:

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!

Other verses in this version of 'God Save The King' - which were not sung today and are rarely sung at all, especially as part of the national anthem - are as follows:

O Lord our God arise,
Scatter his enemies,
And make them fall:
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On Thee our hopes we fix:
God save us all.

Not in this land alone,
But be God’s mercies known,
From shore to shore!
Lord make the nations see,
That men should brothers be,
And form one family,
The wide world o’er.

From every latent foe,
From the assassins blow,
God save the King!
O’er his thine arm extend,
For Britain’s sake defend,
Our father, prince, and friend,
God save the King!

A far lesser-known, and certainly less militaristic, version was approved by the British Privy Council in 1919, aptly named the "Official Peace Version 1919". While the first verse remains the same, the second and third verses are significantly different:

One realm of races four
Blest more and ever more
God save our land!
Home of the brave and free
Set in the silver sea
True nurse of chivalry
God save our land!

Of many a race and birth
From utmost ends of Earth
God save us all!
Bid strife and hatred cease
Bid hope and joy increase
Spread universal peace
God save us all!

Twitter was flooded with status updates as viewers questioned whether they were the only ones who didn't seem to know about the additional verses, with one person tweeting: "I had no idea that the national anthem had a second verse."

Another added: "There's a second verse????"

Some viewers seemed to like the further verses, with one user writing: "The second verse to the National Anthem slaps, don't know why we don't sing it all the time."

Viewers of the late queen's state funeral also joked about the attendees in Westminster Abbey reaching for their order of services, in order to read the lesser-known lyrics.

Well, who knew about the additional verses? We've only just become used to singing about the king, it seems like we will definitely need more time to learn another verse or two!

Featured image credit: PA Images / Alamy

Queen's funeral viewers surprised to learn there's a second verse of 'God Save The King'

vt-author-image

By Phoebe Egoroff

Article saved!Article saved!

Viewers of Queen Elizabeth II's historic state funeral were surprised to learn that there's a second verse of the British national anthem, 'God Save The King'.

Yep, that's right, the national anthem as we know it is a lot longer than most of us thought.

Having been sung as 'God Save The Queen,' for the past 70 years, the public has been slowly but surely getting used to replacing the lyrics with "king" after King Charles III became Britain's new monarch on September 8.

wp-image-1263168988 size-full
'God Save The Queen' has become 'God Save The King' after 70 years, as King Charles III ascended to the throne earlier this month. Credit: Doug Peters / Alamy

Per the Royal website, the national anthem was first publicly performed in 1745 in London, but was not recognized as the national anthem until the 19th century.

It was first composed after Prince Charles Edward Stuart defeated King George II. The leader of the band at the Theatre Royal on Drury Lane then composed 'God Save The King,' which eventually ended up being played nightly afterward.

The original lyrics we all know and love are:

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! 

However, upon hearing the second verse being sung during the late monarch's funeral service in Westminster Abbey today, viewers were shocked to discover the national anthem was definitely longer than one verse. In fact, there are actually three verses in total, and the standard version of the anthem in the United Kingdom is as follows:

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!

Other verses in this version of 'God Save The King' - which were not sung today and are rarely sung at all, especially as part of the national anthem - are as follows:

O Lord our God arise,
Scatter his enemies,
And make them fall:
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On Thee our hopes we fix:
God save us all.

Not in this land alone,
But be God’s mercies known,
From shore to shore!
Lord make the nations see,
That men should brothers be,
And form one family,
The wide world o’er.

From every latent foe,
From the assassins blow,
God save the King!
O’er his thine arm extend,
For Britain’s sake defend,
Our father, prince, and friend,
God save the King!

A far lesser-known, and certainly less militaristic, version was approved by the British Privy Council in 1919, aptly named the "Official Peace Version 1919". While the first verse remains the same, the second and third verses are significantly different:

One realm of races four
Blest more and ever more
God save our land!
Home of the brave and free
Set in the silver sea
True nurse of chivalry
God save our land!

Of many a race and birth
From utmost ends of Earth
God save us all!
Bid strife and hatred cease
Bid hope and joy increase
Spread universal peace
God save us all!

Twitter was flooded with status updates as viewers questioned whether they were the only ones who didn't seem to know about the additional verses, with one person tweeting: "I had no idea that the national anthem had a second verse."

Another added: "There's a second verse????"

Some viewers seemed to like the further verses, with one user writing: "The second verse to the National Anthem slaps, don't know why we don't sing it all the time."

Viewers of the late queen's state funeral also joked about the attendees in Westminster Abbey reaching for their order of services, in order to read the lesser-known lyrics.

Well, who knew about the additional verses? We've only just become used to singing about the king, it seems like we will definitely need more time to learn another verse or two!

Featured image credit: PA Images / Alamy