Thursday, 26 July 2012

God Save the Queen

At the Olympic Games all national anthems have to last at least 90 seconds and that has presented a problem for the United Kingdom squad, known as Team GB, because one verse of the anthem is shorter than the allotted time.  As a result British competitors will be expected to sing two of the five verses of the national anthem, verses one and three.

God save our gracious Queen
Long live our noble Queen
God save the Queen
Send her victorious
Happy and glorious
Long to reign over us
God save the Queen.

Thy choicest gifts in store
On her be pleased to pour
Long may she reign
May she defend our laws
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice
God save the Queen.


  1. At the risk of appearing pedantic, am I alone in wondering whether Team GB ought to change its name to Team UK; and change its title from Great Britain to United Kingdom?

    I'm aware of the argument that to change the name might be confusing to other nations, who probably do not appreciate that we have four nations within the kingdom.

    Great Britain is England, Scotland and Wales.

  2. I agree entirely. This is something I have long adovcated and when I was DCAL minister I raised the issue at the UK Sports Cabinet. The matter had previously been raised by my predecessor Gregory Campbell.

    According to its own website the British Olympic Association is the National Olympic Committee for Great Britain and Northern Ireland. However it is an independent body and has decided to brand the team as Team GB rather than Team UK, even though it is the team for Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

    The head of the BOA is Lord Moynihan, who is a Conservative Peer and a former Conservative MP and therefore presumably a unionist. Nevertheless he has been dismissive of approaches to recognise the position of Northern Ireland by changing the name to Team UK.

    Although I lobbied the Sports Cabinet as well as the BOA it is the BOA alone which can make the change and we should continue to press Lord Moynihan and his colleagues on this matter.

    Great Britain and Northern Ireland are the constituent parts of the United Kingdom and the use of the Team GB brand rather than a Team UK brand than a Team UK brand is therefore inaccurate and incomprehensible.

  3. The second verse is:

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