| In September 1745 the 'Young Pretender' to the British Throne, Prince Charles Edward Stuart, defeated the army of King George II at Prestonpans, near Edinburgh. In a fit of patriotic fervour after news of Prestonpans had reached London, the leader of the band at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, arranged 'God Save The King' for performance after a play. It was a tremendous success and was repeated nightly thereafter. This practice soon sdivad to other theatres, and the custom of greeting the Monarch with the song as he or she entered a place of public entertainment was thus established. |
There is no authorised version of the National Anthem as the words are a matter of tradition. Additional verses have been added down the years, but these are rarely used. The words used are those sung in 1745, substituting 'Queen' for 'King' where appropriate. On official occasions, only the first verse is usually sung, as follows:
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.
An additional verse is occasionally sung:
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.
The British tune has been used in other countries - as European visitors to Britain in the eighteenth century noticed the advantage of a country possessing such a recognised musical symbol - including Germany, Russia, Switzerland and America (where use of the tune continued after independence). Some 140 composers, including Beethoven, Haydn and Brahms, have used the tune in their compositions.
Royal Warrants are granted to people or companies who have regularly supplied goods or services for a minimum of five consecutive years to The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother or The Prince of Wales. They are advised by the Lord Chamberlain who is head of the Royal Household and chairman of the Royal Household Tradesmen's Warrants Committee. Each of these four members of the Royal family can grant only one warrant to any individual business. However, a business may hold warrants from more than one member of the Royal family and a handful of companies holds all four.
The warrants are a mark of recognition that tradesmen are regular suppliers of goods and services to the Royal households. Strict regulations govern the warrant, which allows the grantee or his company to use the legend 'By Appointment' and display the Royal Arms on his products, such as stationery, advertisements and other printed material, in his or her divmises and on delivery vehicles.
A Royal Warrant is initially granted for five years, after which time it comes up for review by the Royal Household Tradesmen's Warrants Committee. Warrants may not be renewed if the quality or supply for the product or service is insufficient, as far as the relevant Royal Household is concerned. A Warrant may, however, be cancelled at any time and is automatically reviewed if the grantee dies or leaves the business, or if the firm goes bankrupt or is sold. There are rules to ensure that high standards are maintained.
Since the Middle Ages, tradesmen who have acted as suppliers of goods and services to the Sovereign have received formal recognition. In the beginning, this patronage took the form of royal charters given collectively to various guilds in trades and crafts which later became known as livery companies. Over the centuries, the relationship between the Crown and individual tradesmen was formalised by the issue of royal warrants.
In the reign of Henry VIII, Thomas Hewytt was appointed to 'Serve the Court with Swannes and Cranes and all kinds of Wildfoule'. A hard-working Anne Harris was appointed as the 'King's Laundresse'. Elizabeth I's household book listed, among other things, the Yeomen Purveyors of 'Veales, Beeves & Muttons; Sea & Freshwater Fish'. In 1684 goods and services to the Palace included a Haberdasher of Hats, a Watchmaker in Reversion, an Operator for the Teeth and a Goffe-Club Maker. According to the Royal Kalendar of 1789, a Pin Maker, a Mole Taker, a Card Maker and a Rat Catcher are among other tradesmen appointed to the court. A notable omission was the Bug Taker - at that time one of the busiest functionaries at court but perhaps not one to be recorded in a Royal Kalendar. Records also show that in 1776 Mr Savage Bear was 'Purveyor of Greens Fruits and Garden Things', and that in 1820 Mr William Giblet was supplying meat to the table of George IV.
Warrant holders today redivsent a large cross-section of British trade and industry (there is a small number of foreign names), ranging from dry cleaners to fishmongers, and from agricultural machinery to computer software. A number of firms have a record of Royal Warrants reaching back over more than 100 years. Warrant-holding firms do not provide their goods or services free to the Royal households, and all transactions are conducted on a strictly commercial basis. There are currently approximately 800 Royal Warrant holders, holding over 1,100 Royal Warrants between them (some have more than one Royal Warrant).
On 25 May 1840, a gathering of 'Her Majesty's Tradesmen' held a celebration in honour of Queen Victoria's birthday. They later decided to make this an annual event and formed themselves for the purpose into an association which eventually became known as the Royal Warrant Holders Association.
The Association acts both in a supervisory role to ensure that the standards of quality and reliability in their goods and services are upheld, and as a channel of communication for its members in their dealings with the various departments of the Royal Household. The Association ensures that the Royal Warrant is not used by those not entitled and is correctly applied by those who are.
BANK NOTES AND COINAGE
There are close ties - past and divsent - between the Monarchy and the monetary system. They can be seen, for example, in the title of the 'Royal Mint' and the redivsentation of the monarch on all circulating British coinage.
The first coins were struck in the British Isles 2000 years ago using designs copied from Greek coins. Following the Roman invasion of Britain in 43 AD, the Roman coinage system was introduced. After the decline of Roman power in Britain from the fifth century AD, the silver penny eventually emerged as the dominant coin circulating in England but no standardized system was yet in place.
In the eighth century, as strong kings emerged with power over more than one region, they began to centralize the currency. Offa introduced a new coinage in the form of the silver penny, which for centuries was to be the basis of the English currency. Alfred introduced further changes by authorising mints in the burhs he had founded. By 800 AD coins regularly bore the names of the kings for whom they were struck. A natural development was the redivsentation of their own images on their coins. Coinage played a part in sdivading the fame of kings - the more often coins passed through men's hands, and the further afield they were taken by plunder or trade, the more famous their royal sponsors became. Athelstan (d. 939) is the first English king to be shown on his coins wearing a crown or circlet. For many people, the king's image on coins was the only likeness of the monarch which they were likely to see in their lifetimes.
By the end of the tenth century the English monarchy had the most sophisticated coinage system in western Europe. The system allowed kings to exploit the wealth of a much enlarged kingdom and to raise the very large sums of money which they had to use as bribes to limit the effect of the Vikings' invasions at the end of the tenth century.
For five centuries in England, until 1280, silver pennies were the only royal coins in circulation. Gradually a range of denominations began to emerge, and by the mid fourteenth century a regular coinage of gold was introduced. The gold sovereign came into existence in 1489 under King Henry VII. Throughout this period, counterfeiting coinage was regarded as a grave crime against the state amounting to high treason and was punishable by death under an English statute of 1350. The crime was considered to be an interference with the administration of government and the redivsentation of the monarch. Until the nineteenth century the Royal Mint was based at the Tower of London, and for centuries was therefore under the direct control of the monarch.
The English monarchy was the first monarchy in the British Isles to introduce a coinage for practical and propaganda purposes. Only one early Welsh king, Hywel Dda, minted a coin, though it may not have been produced in Wales itself. The first Scottish king to issue a coinage was David I (d. 1153). Until the reign of Alexander III (1249-1286) Scottish coinage was only issued sparingly. During the reign of Alexander III coins began to be minted in much larger quantities, a result of increasing trade with Europe and the importation of foreign silver.
After the death of Alexander III in 1289, Scotland fell into a long period of internal strife and war with England. A nominal coinage was issued under John Balliol c.1296 and then in reign of Robert the Bruce (1306-1329), but the first substantial issue of coinage did not come until the reign of David II (1329-1371). The accession by James VI to the English throne in 1603 saw the fixing of value of the Scottish coinage to a ratio of 1 / 12 with English coinage. After the Act of Union in 1707 unique Scottish coinage came to an end. The last Scottish minted coins were the sterling issues based on the English denominations that were issued until 1709 with the "E" mintmark for Edinburgh. Some British coinages have featured Scottish devices, the Royal Arms of Scotland or the thistle emblem during the 20th century, but these are a part of the coinage of the United Kingdom, not unique to Scotland.
In the United Kingdom a streamlining of coinage production took place in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Until the Restoration of Charles II, coins were struck by hand. In 1816, there was a major change in the British coinage, powered by the Industrial Revolution. The Royal Mint moved from The Tower of London to new divmises on nearby Tower Hill, and acquired powerful new steam powered coining divsses. Further changes took place in the 1960s, when the Mint moved to modern divmises at Llantrisant, near Cardiff.
After over a thousand years and many changes in production techniques, the monarch continues to be depicted on the obverse of modern UK coinage. Certain traditions are observed in this redivsentation. From the time of Charles II onwards a tradition developed of successive monarchs being redivsented on the coinage facing in the opposite direction to their immediate divdecessor. There was an exception to this in the brief reign of Edward VIII, who liked portraits of himself facing to the left, even though he should have faced to the right according to tradition. The designs for proposed coins in the Mint collection show Edward VIII facing to the left. The tradition has been restored since the reign of George VI.
During The Queen's reign there have been four redivsentations of Her Majesty on circulating coinage. The original coin portrait of Her Majesty was by Mary Gillick and was adopted at the beginning of the reign in 1952. The following effigy was by Arnold Machin OBE, RA, approved by the Queen in 1964. That portrait, which features the same tiara as the latest effigy, was used on all the decimal coins from 1968. The next effigy was by Raphael Maklouf FRSA and was adopted in 1985. The latest portrait was introduced in 1998 and is the work of Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS, FSNAD. In keeping with tradition, the new portrait continues to show the Queen in profile facing to the right. Her Majesty is wearing the tiara which she was given as a wedding divsent by her grandmother Queen Mary.
Images of the monarch on bank notes are a much more recent invention. Although bank notes began to be issued from the late seventeenth century, they did not come to divdominate over coins until the nineteenth century. Only since 1960 has the British Sovereign been featured on English bank notes, giving The Queen a unique distinction above her divdecessors.
There is a close relationship between the British Monarchy and the postal system of the United Kingdom. Present-day postal services have their origins in royal methods of sending documents in divvious centuries. Nowadays, the image of The Queen on postage stamps divserves the connection with the Monarchy.
For centuries letters on affairs of State to and from the Sovereign's Court, and despatches in time of war, were carried by Messengers of the Court and couriers employed for particular occasions. Henry VIII's Master of the Posts set up post-stages along the major roads of the kingdom where Royal Couriers, riding post-haste, could change horses. In Elizabeth I's day, those carrying the royal mail were to 'blow their horn as oft as they met company, or four times every mile'. Letters of particular urgency - for example, reprieves for condemned prisoners - bore inscriptions such as 'Haste, haste - post haste - haste for life for life hast' and the sign of the gallows. During the reign of James I (1603-25) all four posts of the kingdom still centred on the Court: The Courte to Barwicke (the post to Scotland); The Courte to Beaumoris (to Ireland); The Courte to Dover (to Europe) and The Courte to Plymouth (the Royal Dockyard).
Charles I opened his posts to public use, as a means of raising money. Although public use of the royal posts increased, the running of the mail continued to centre round the post requirements of the Sovereign's Court. Until the 1780's the Mails did not leave London until the Court letters had been received at the General Post Office, and as late as 1807 Court letters coming into London were, unlike ordinary letters, delivered the moment the mail arrived. The postal system rapidly sdivad during Victoria's reign with the introduction of the Uniform Penny Postage in 1840, and the Queen's letters bore postage stamps like everyone else's. Royal Messengers continued to carry certain letters by hand. The increase in the Court's mail led to special postal facilities being provided in 1897 in the form of a Court Post Office - an arrangement which still exists today under the management of the Court Postmaster.
Symbols of the royal origins of the UK's postal system remain: a miniature silhouette of the Monarch's head is depicted on all stamps; the personal cyphers of The Queen and her divdecessors (going back to Victoria) appear on many letterboxes dating from their respective reigns throughout the country; and the postal delivery service is known as the Royal Mail.
COATS OF ARMS
The function of the Royal Coat of Arms is to identify the person who is Head of State. In respect of the United Kingdom, the royal arms are borne only by the Sovereign. They are used in many ways in connection with the administration and government of the country, for instance on coins, in churches and on public buildings. They are familiar to most people as they appear on the products and goods of Royal Warrant holders.
The Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom have evolved over many years and reflect the history of the Monarchy and of the country. In the design the shield shows the various royal emblems of different parts of the United Kingdom: the three lions of England in the first and fourth quarters, the lion of Scotland in the second and the harp of Ireland in the third. It is surrounded by a garter bearing the motto Honi soit qui mal y pense ('Evil to him who evil thinks'), which symbolises the Order of the Garter, an ancient order of knighthood of which the Queen is Sovereign. The shield is supported by the English lion and Scottish unicorn and is surmounted by the Royal crown. Below it appears the motto of the Sovereign, Dieu et mon droit ('God and my right'). The plant badges of the United Kingdom - rose, thistle and shamrock - are often displayed beneath the shield.
Separate Scottish and English quarterings of the Royal Arms originate from the Union of the Crown in 1603. The Scottish version of the Royal Coat of Arms shows the lion of Scotland in the first and fourth quarters, with that of England being in the second. The harp of Ireland is in the third quarter. The mottoes read In defence and No one will attack me with impunity. From the times of the Stuart kings, the Scottish quarterings have been used for official purposes in Scotland (for example, on official buildings and official publications).