View Full Version : Regarding British Royalty

Judi B
07-14-2007, 08:39 AM
I'm trying to help a writer friend find an answer.
Situation: a late-Victorian era concert.
The Princess of Wales, who loves music in spite of her rapidly advancing deafness, will be attending. Two questions:
1) She's not there at the scheduled beginning time. Would they:
a) Begin the program, then stop when she arrives and do the honor thing or
b) Just wait until after her arrival to begin.

2) Would the orchestra play:
a) God Save the Queen, which I believe is the National Anthem (but is it, officially?) or Rule, Britannia!
I thought the first was played only for a reigning monarch and the other for the rest of the royals, but I'm American so what do I know from royalty?
b) When the music is played, would the audience sing it also or would it just be the orchestra.

Any help will be appreciated! I've tried Googling and wikipedia-ing and I've discovered lots of info but nothing that answers my questions.

Bless you-all!


07-14-2007, 09:01 AM
Hi Judi, I'm really not sure why I'm trying to answer your question -- I've got no clue, but I've got some guesses.

1) If they know the Princess of Wales is supposed to be in attendance, I don't think they'd start the concert without her, especially if they plan on honoring her.

2) I wouldn't expect people to sing along -- just the orchestra.

Judi B
07-14-2007, 09:17 AM
Hi, Katie--

Those would be my guesses too, but ... gotta know for sure. Or rather, I don't, but my friend does.

As far as the singing goes, I know people are often expected here to sing the Star Spangled Banner but most people where I live don't, won't, or can't. And honestly, after "Oh say, can you see by the dawn's early light..." half of them don't know the words anyway. And I'll bet one out of 100 doesn't know the second verse at all. Of course it's an impossible song for the average person to sing anyway. But it sounds great instrumentally.

Thanks for your interest!

07-14-2007, 09:41 AM
When you say "late Victoria era concert" what do you mean? As in the actual time period? Or a modern day concert of late Victoria era music?

I agree with katiemac on the first question. If they were planning on honoring her in a big to-do then I'd think they'd wait. Otherwise, probably not. Unless you mean Victoria era...then they'd probably wait either way.

I think it's orchestra-only...but there's a huge chance I'm wrong, too. But if this is really Victoria era...did they have those songs, then?

Sorry I couldn't be more of a help...maybe someone from the UK will see this and be able to answer your questions without "I think"

Judi B
07-14-2007, 10:09 AM
Hi. Sorry I wasn't more clear.

Her book takes place at the tail end of the 19th Century, when Alexandra was Princess of Wales. She loved music but started losing her hearing very young. I think it's a very small scene but this is an author who wants it right.

the author thinks they would wait out of respect, and so do I. And I'd think getting to see royalty in person (and I believe she was pretty popular with the people) would keep them from getting snappish if the performance was delayed.

Thanks for your input.

07-14-2007, 10:18 AM
Yeah, I'd think they'd wait, too. At that time, especially...

07-14-2007, 10:50 AM
I should think they would wait -- possibly the orchestra might strike up a ditty or two to keep the audience entertained and to warm up -- and after the concert everyone (except the Princess) will solemnly stand in silence while the orchestra plays God Save The Queen.


07-15-2007, 09:45 AM
God Save the Queen/King is played and sung at most gatherings like concerts, etc., regardless of whether a royal is present. Usually only at the end of the evening.

God Save the Queen/King is the national anthem and won out over Rule Britannia in a national poll.

The concert would not begin until the Royal showed up. It is unusual for a royal to show up late.

07-15-2007, 09:50 AM
for royalty.

'God Save the Queen' is only for the Queen. It would be usual in Victorian times for some sort of fanfare type flourish to announce the arrival of the princess so all could fall silent as the princess was announced.

As dpaterso says the GSQ Anthem would be played at the end, all standing in silence except HRH, the princess who would sit.

Everyone singing the Nat Anthem would occur at public functions, school assemblies, political meetings, union meetings, big church dos and anywhere anyone felt nationalistic fervour! In the latter years of Victoria's reign that would be at most public occasions, but not Court occasions or society dos.