History

National anthem plus

There have been many additional verses used for the British national anthem over the years. There was, for example, the famous anti-Jacobite verse in 1745 about crushing rebellious Scots, from a time when the opening line to the song was ‘God save great George, our king’. Then there’s the fact that the official verse urging God to ‘scatter her enemies’ tends to get ignored and replaced by a later version. And in the aftermath of the First World War a less aggressive set of lyrics was published, known as the ‘Official peace version, 1919’.

The following verse, however, seems to have been completely forgotten. It was sung in April 1857 to celebrate the birth of Princess Beatrice, the ninth and last child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert:

May the sweet babe just born,

Like her this land adorn,

Honour’d where seen!

Peace welcomed in her birth,

Plenty on bounteous earth,

May joy gladden every hearth,

God save the Queen!

Princess-Beatrice2

Princess Beatrice in 1860.

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