God Save The King


By Glynn Burrows, Norfolk Tours UK


Prince Charles Photo: God Save The King | By Copyright House of Lords 2022 / Photography by Annabel Moeller, CC BY 2.0,

ON BIG BLEND RADIO: Glynn Burrows reflects on the legacy and passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and the new Royal leadership of King Charles III. Listen here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on PodBean.

“God Save the King” is something that we, in the UK, have not heard since 1952 and it means that to remember saying that, or singing “King” in the National Anthem, you would need to be in your late 70’s.

To put it into context. My parents are 85 and 88 and, when the Queen acceded to the throne, my Mum was just 15. My Dad joined the Royal Air Force in March that year and all of the forms he signed had “King” crossed through and “Queen” inserted into the anthem.

One of my recent articles was all about the Platinum Jubilee and outlines just how long our Queen reigned and what an amazing feat it was, to rule over us through such changes in the world. Just a few things which bring it home to me include: In 1952 very few people owned a car and now there are multiple cars in most households. In 1952 most of the population had to go to the nearest telephone box to make a call, but today most people have a ‘phone in their pocket. In 1952 very few people had a bathroom, but today many houses have two or more and some have a bathroom for each bedroom and a spare for visitors. In 1952 very few people would ever eat out and today, many people eat out every week. There are thousands of other massive changes in the last seventy years and please do go and read the article about the Platinum Jubilee.

Her Majesty The Queen passed away in Balmoral Castle, in Scotland. Balmoral Castle was built in the 1850s, on the site of an earlier one that had been built in the 1830s, which had replaced a fifteenth-century castle. Queen Victoria and Albert decided to demolish the mix of buildings and start again.

After Albert died in 1861, Queen Victoria became more and more reclusive, and Balmoral was one of her favourite places because of the solitude and calm.

  • The Queens Speech by King Charles
    The Queens Speech by King Charles Attribution: Copyright House of Lords 2022 / Photography by Annabel Moeller

The present Royal Family usually spends the summer months at Balmoral and that is why The Queen was up in Scotland when she passed.

The one thing which surprised a lot of people, was just how quickly everything fell into place as soon as Her Late Majesty died, but to many of us older people it is no surprise at all, as plans are always in place for the death of members of The Royal Family. A coded plan is held, and it is implemented at a moment’s notice. “Operation London Bridge” has been ready to go since at least the nineteen sixties and, although these plans are reviewed regularly throughout the year, there is always an up-to-date plan if anything happens. There are individual plans for special circumstances, such as “Unicorn” as Her Late Majesty died in Scotland.

The plans for the coronation of The King are already laid out and there are only a few minor details to be sorted out before those plans will be put into action. Obviously, to be respectful, there needs to be time between the death of The Queen and the coronation of The King, but the coronation is all planned and ready to go.

This last week has really shown how amazing the UK is at the ceremony. From the Castle at Balmoral to the laying at rest in St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh, it was all done so calmly, but it was the arrival at Buckingham Palace and the transfer to Westminster which really showed what pomp and circumstance is.

The uniforms and the precision with which everything is carried out make these events truly spectacular and the love for Her Late Majesty is to be seen in every city, town, village, and street. The number of flags flying at half-mast in private gardens is quite amazing. The number of mentions of The Queen is getting in general conversations and even on social media is quite shocking, as many people didn’t appear to have any strong feelings for the Monarchy. Most businesses are closing and even supermarkets are closing on the day of the funeral!

People are out in force, showing their real love and admiration for the petite, elderly lady we all called The Queen.

This last week, our daughter and her husband took their two daughters to Sandringham, and our eldest granddaughter, (3 1/2), laid her hand-made card alongside the thousands of flowers at the main gates. It was quite surprising that our daughter wanted to go, as she has never really shown any interest in The Royal Family before. I asked her why she went, and she said: “I just wanted to go. I think it is important for the girls to go too.” Speaking with our granddaughter who is three and a half, she told me that she had gone to take a card for The Queen as “she had died and it was sad”.

Now we have a King, what changes? Well, for most of us, not much on the surface of it, but all our coins, banknotes, and stamps will now have a different head on them. Letter boxes will now have “C III R” instead of “E II R” and all those uniforms at the palaces and at The Tower of London will need to be changed too. Passports will need to be altered and all the armed forces will swear their allegiance to The King. Many other professions which have The Monarch at the head of their organisations, will all now have a new boss, and we will all sing “God save our gracious King” when we sing the National Anthem. These are just a few of the changes and, as I said, they don’t seem to be much, but they will make us all sit up and take notice. The first coin with The King’s head on it, the first time we see C III R on something, and the first time we stand and sing the National Anthem in public, will make it all sink in.

My wife and I decided to go to Sandringham this week and the pictures show just how many people have been already.

Glynn Burrows is the owner of Norfolk Tours in England where he provides customized, private tours and also helps his clients trace their English family history. If you are thinking about taking a vacation to England, visit www.Norfolk-Tours.co.uk

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