National anthems: Sorry Your Majesty, but God Save the Queen is naff...

OK, so 'La Marseillaisel might be a bit socialist and republican for you, but damn, it is stirring

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The Independent Online

Dear Queen,

In recent days, it may have come to Your Majesty’s attention that some people are less than wholly enthusiastic about singing your national anthem. Sorry! Please be assured, Ma’am: it’s not that we don’t wish you victorious, happy or glorious. We do hope that you live long, and some of us even think of you as noble. It’s the reigning over us where some people start to struggle, you see. The reason being lots of your subjects have somehow formed the impression that Britain is a democracy. I know!

While we’re being entirely honest with each other, Your Royal Holiness, it doesn’t really help that “God Save the Queen” is so naff. Just watch the Rugby World Cup to see the contrast: many other countries have rousing, anthemic songs that bring the crowds to their feet with tears in their eyes. England, meanwhile, makes do with mumbling along to our little dirge, which only really gets lively with that discredited last verse about crushing the poor old Scots. Just imagine how much better our teams might do if they had something exciting to sing.

OK, so “La Marseillaise” might be a bit socialist and republican for you, but damn, it is stirring. Aux armes, citoyens! And just try to watch a packed Millennium Stadium in Cardiff singing “Land of My Fathers” and see if it doesn’t make you weep – even if many of them are wearing daffodils on their heads.

No, Your Mighty Royalness, what we need – if I may – is something a bit more inspiring. Take “The Red Flag”. OK, I know what you’re going to say: some of those bits about not cringing before the rich man’s frown do look a bit unhelpful from your, and your Prime Minister’s, point of view. But it’s powerful – at least when it’s sung like a hymn and not a silly folk song. How about something heartfelt and moving, a song to make grown women cry on Olympic podiums? Something like the old Soviet anthem? No? OK, we’ll come back to that.

Meanwhile, can we do something about the embarrassing issue of the Privy Council? For starters, you do know that its name just makes everybody think of Henry VIII on the lavatory, don’t you? And then there’s the thing about your elected officials having to kneel and kiss your hand. Well, we all know that Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t fancy it, and if I were you I wouldn’t be looking forward to his bristly kisses, either. I’d say it’s ripe for reform, and the good news for you, Your Windsorness, is that you are the Queen – you can make up whatever rules you like.

I have a suggestion: a new British tradition that would be honest, inspiring, and nod to the British Isles’ world-renowned excellence at the noble sport of rugby. When Jeremy Corbyn arrives to be formally sworn in as leader of Your Majesty’s fine Opposition, the two of you hunker down, face off, and engage each other in a haka.

Yours, Katy

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