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God save the Queen?

By Russell Grenning - posted Wednesday, 13 September 2017


Republic naturally discusses this grave matter and suggests, "For those who do like God Save the Queen it could be retained as a royal anthem, at least until the monarchy is abolished," which is really two bob each way and hardly a line-in-the-sand principle. In any case, they say "God Save the Queen is a dreadful dirge".

Ever helpful, they have suggested alternatives including Land of Hope and Glory which was composed in 1902 by Edward Elgar as part of his Coronation Suite for King Edward V11 and dedicated by the composer "by Special Permission of His Most Gracious Majesty King Edward VII" which hardly indicates some slavish republicanism or, perhaps, You'll Never Walk Alone a catchy show tune by those well-known American republicans Rogers and Hammerstein for Carousel. Just imagine, a brand new Republic of Britain – yes of course the term United Kingdom would go into the dustbin of history – paying royalties to some bloody yanks for the new national anthem. Would loyal British subjects have to stand whenever Gerry and the Pacemakers' 1963 version was played?

Then there is the flag. The Union Jack would clearly have to go because of its Royalist implications. Yes, it would have to be a new flag for a new republic but Republic is a bit uncertain about how this could be achieved noting, "A competition is an option although they don't always work out well – as New Zealand found out when they tried to change their flag". Not working out well translated into plain English ruefully acknowledges the fact that two flag referenda in 2015 and 2016 in New Zealand resulted in their keeping their existing flag.

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The latest opinion poll in the UK published by opinion.co.uk earlier this year was headed "Going into 2017: the ever popular Monarchy" and revealed only 19% hoped that Britain would become a republic "at some time in the future, the lowest proportion seen in four waves of this study".

But for all of this grim news for British republicans, their sheer determination in the face of overwhelming evidence shows some good old British pluck. Frankly, they deserve recognition for it – perhaps an MBE, OBE or even a CBE? A knighthood or, heaven forbid, a Life Peerage might be going a wee bit far.

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About the Author

Russell Grenning is a retired political adviser and journalist who began his career at the ABC in 1968 and subsequently worked for the then Brisbane afternoon daily, The Telegraph and later as a columnist for The Courier Mail and The Australian.

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