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BBC Wales sparks furious backlash with God Save the Queen question

11 Aug 2021 4 minutes Read
England v Wales, Rugby World Cup. By Marc (CC 2.0)

The BBC has sparked a fierce backlash after it asked if Wales could sing God Save the Queen before international sports matches.

It posed the question on social media following a suggestion from the Archbishop of York that Wales sing the English and British anthem ahead of sporting contests.

In a column for the Telegraph, Stephen Cottrell said when the different nations of the UK play each other they could “belt out our individual anthems” before they “sing our national anthem together”.

BBC Wales published an article which referenced the comments and looked at the history of Wales singing God Save the Queen and Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau before international games.

The headline said: “National anthem: Should Wales’ teams sing God Save the Queen?”

When it shared the article on its official Twitter page it asked: “Could Welsh sports teams sing two anthems before games?”

The question prompted a barrage of angry responses.

Bryn Williams said: “Perhaps BBC Wales should be renamed ‘BBC in Wales’ as they clearly don’t respect our differences.”

Llion Rhys said: “Guessing they don’t realise we’ve got our OWN anthem? What a stupid question!”

Lloyd Hughes said: “How is this even a debate? BBC Wales literally has no back bone or a (sic) intern from Surrey wrote this”.

Roopa Vyas said: “Could this be the worst thing the BBC has posted?”

Sebastian Waters said: “Who gave Alun Cairns the Twitter login?”

Jason Morgan said: “From the establishment that brought the classic ‘Is the Welsh language irritating?’ to you.”

Rugby writer Peter Jackson told the BBC that he believes God Save the Queen is seen by people as “not the anthem of Wales” and would be “booed now even more than it was in the past”.

God Save the Queen used to be sung at Wales’ rugby matches and sports historian Huw Richards said it was generally accepted and played as well as Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, until a “tipping point” came in the 1970s.

‘Unmercifully jeered’

Richards told the BBC: “In 1973, God Save the Queen was played at Cardiff before Wales played Japan and unmercifully jeered, with it identified among Welsh fans as English, who asked ‘why are they playing it at our game?’

“Then at Twickenham, a few months later, Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau wasn’t played – it was suggested it was direct retaliation, with the RFU president thoroughly embarrassed, saying the band took unilateral action.”

He says this was the around the time when it was decided God Save the Queen was “not appropriate for Wales games” and it was “quietly dropped”.

In his article for the Telegraph, Cottrell also complained about Scotland singing the Scottish national anthem Flower of Scotland before its Euro 2020 match with England, instead of both teams having “sung one national anthem”.

But he did praise the “impressive zest” with which the Scottish anthem was sung.

He said many people in England feel left behind by “metropolitan elites in London and the South East” and are “patronised as backwardly xenophobic”, and called for “an expansive vision of what it means to be English”.

In his column he said: “I’m also a big fan of any game that stops for tea. In fact, after the horrors of Covid, our whole nation would benefit from a tea break.

“A chance to pause, reset and rediscover who we are: a courageous and compassionate community of communities, serving the common good, and delighting in our diversity across these islands.

“Then when the different nations of the United Kingdom find themselves pitched against each other on the sports field, we could belt out our individual anthems. Then sing our national anthem together. And love our neighbour.”

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Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
1 month ago

Johnson’s “Union Unit” working overtime now. They’ve recruited an archbishop and BBC Wales in less than three days.

Last edited 1 month ago by Wrexhamian
John Davies
John Davies
1 month ago
Reply to  Wrexhamian

Yes, but at the same time they are turning more and more Welsh people in Wales towards Independence! #YesCymru. Hope the “Union unit” keep it up.

Dafydd
Dafydd
1 month ago

BBC Wales are a unionist propaganda arm of the Tories. Change the way you consume media and cancel your licence.

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
1 month ago
Reply to  Dafydd

You can enjoy lots of television programmes without having to support the British state broadcaster. You don’t need a licence to watch the catch-up players for the numerous ITV channels, S4C, C4 etc. Or Netflix. Stop paying for Boris’s propaganda.

Chris
Chris
1 month ago

So, what will England sing before joining in with GSTQ? That seems to have been glossed over.

Quornby
Quornby
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris

Eton uber alles might fit the bill.

John Davies
John Davies
1 month ago
Reply to  Quornby

“Jolly good boating weather…”

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
1 month ago

Here’s the answer to the question posed by the state broadcaster …

https://youtu.be/DiF4QI5nIIY

Last edited 1 month ago by Cai Wogan Jones
stuart stanton
stuart stanton
1 month ago

God Save the Queen is outdated, pompous nonsense. Billy Connolly got it right when he claimed the theme from ‘The Archers’ should be used instead (See ‘An Audience with……)

CJPh
CJPh
1 month ago

I welcome this imposition should it ever come into effect – a wave of boycotts followed by increased support for separation, and then, our national emancipation would come in a matter of weeks. Cymry, let’s give the baby it’s bottle; it has no idea how to feed itself.

Last edited 1 month ago by CJPh
David Smith
David Smith
1 month ago

They can’t be this tone deaf, surely to God? The joke is in truth on these ‘Greater Englanders’ as in conflating England and the UK they snuff out their own nationhood at the altar of homogenised Britishness.

R S Davies
R S Davies
1 month ago

This dispute illustrates the fundamental inadequacy in Anglo-centric perspectives. They seem incapable of comprehending that Anglo-Angevin imperialism is outmoded and inappropriate in the 21st century. It illustrates their own sense of loss of power and influence, and the weakness of their arguments. While every English child in every English school is aware of key cultural events of immigrant communities, such as Diwali and Eid Mubarak, they are woefully ignorant of Celtic culture such the Eisteddfodau. While their students might march and protest against the alleged crimes perpetrated by the Zionists against the Palestinians and accuse Israel of being an apartheid… Read more »

Richard
Richard
1 month ago
Reply to  R S Davies

Yes, “land seized for the benefit of English communities” as recently as 1960. Cofiwch Dryweryn.

Gweirydd
Gweirydd
1 month ago

This; GB 7s rugby, etc. Game’s up. The invertebrate nation gets what it deserves.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
1 month ago

Wales has an official national anthem, England has none. GSTQ is a “national anthem” through custom and use and is not officially the anthem of anywhere. It is a royal anthem and really should not be performed except in the presence of the sovereign.

No sense of decorum these evangelical gammons like Cottrell.

Cynan
Cynan
1 month ago

The BBC once again clumsily betraying it’s obvious Unionist bias.
It does not represent the British in any way. Purely an English channel.
Time to end the Eng Nat TV tax

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago

This type of reporting, if I can call it that, is to be expected from the BBC, after recent goings on. Remember Jason Mohamed telling us to support England, with England scarf’s adorning his radio Wales studio, was it Claire Summers who caused a stir, with remarks about who Wales fans should support, and of course Huw Edwards in London, told by the BBC to remove our flag from his personal twitter account. There is an obvious trend here, and I expect it to get worse.

Erisian
Erisian
1 month ago

GSTQ is a dirge. It hardly qualifies as a tune. I’ve always hated it on aesthetic grounds.
Now it’s being weponised I hate it even more.

Dragon
Dragon
1 month ago

You’d think the days of fascistic cult of personality ditties were behind us.

Siani
Siani
1 month ago

Last verse contains the words “rebellious Scots to crush”
The whole anthem should be banned as it is racist.

Darren Parris
Darren Parris
1 month ago
Reply to  Siani

This is fake news, no such verse exists. Why do people insist on publishing rubbish to creat more division and hatred.

Cynan
Cynan
1 month ago
Reply to  Darren Parris

Yes! The perfidious Times and their pesky anti-Royalist “fake news” https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/rebellious-scots-will-remain-crushed-in-god-save-the-queen-sfr8gv3b75n

Richard
Richard
1 month ago
Reply to  Cynan

Thanks for the link. I see that the report (from 2010) has “Labour … insisting [that GSTQ] was a source of pride for people across the UK.”

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
1 month ago
Reply to  Darren Parris

Yes it does, the first time I heard it was on “A history of Britain” by Simon Scharma. The verse very definitely exists, if you don’t believe that it does then you are blinding yourself to realty to disguise your own hatred and divisiveness.

David Smith
David Smith
1 month ago
Reply to  Darren Parris

Back in your box, illiterate!

George
George
1 month ago

“and delighting in our diversity across these islands.”

Still the best line in the Telegraph article.

Dafydd Evans
Dafydd Evans
1 month ago

really hacks me off that GGC havent (as yet) added a Have your Say to their article! Would love to see how the usual BBC gammons try to justify singing GSTQ at our games.

Lyn
Lyn
1 month ago

That horse left the stable when England adopted “God Save the Queen” as theirs. The perception MIGHT be reversed if England first took up something else and spent years singing it with no appearance at all of GSTQ at competitions except when the UK is playing. Even then it’s MIGHT. Without that the horse has not only bolted, but it was so long ago it’s deceased. Insisting will only bring out the corpse

Darren Parris
Darren Parris
1 month ago
Reply to  Lyn

I agree. I feel England should have their own anthem and GSTQ should be for British/U.K. events.

Cynan
Cynan
1 month ago
Reply to  Darren Parris

I agree England should have its own anthem and the disunited kingdom consigned to history. Let the Hanoverian Normans keep their stolen bit of land which welcomes their domination and get out of the other 3.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
1 month ago

Boris’s Broadcasting Conservatives.

Dewi Mudd
Dewi Mudd
1 month ago

England don’t sing God save the Queen in the commonwealth games because it represents all the countries involved,

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