Alternative History
God Save the King
Publication of an early version in The Gentleman's Magazine, 15 October 1745. The title, on the contents page, is given as "God save our lord the king: A new song set for two voices".
Royal anthem of Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom (until 1815)
Flag of Cygnia.svg Cygnia (until 1943)
Flag of the United States (1777-1795).svg California (until 1943)
Music Unknown
Adopted 1784 (in Cygnia)
Until 1943
Music sample

God Save the King (or God Save the Queen when the monarch was female) was at numerous periods in history the royal anthem of the United Kingdom and the Cygnian Empire. The author of the tune is unknown and it may originate in plainchant, but a 1619 attribution to John Bull is sometimes made. It was originally the national and royal anthem of the United Kingdom until it was officially dissolved in 1815. In Cygnia, God Save the King was adopted as its first national anthem as a matter of tradition. It remained the de facto national anthem until the the Cygnian Revolution overthrew the monarchy in 1943, after which there was no widely recognised anthem until 1977, when Glory to Cygnia was officially adopted.

Beyond its first verse, which is consistent, "God Save the King" has many historic and extant versions. Since its first publication, different verses have been added and taken away and, even today, different publications include various selections of verses in various orders. In general, only one verse is sung. Sometimes two verses are sung, and on rare occasions, three.

The monarch and their spouse were saluted with the entire anthem, while other members of the Royal Family who were entitled to royal salute (such as the Crown Prince) received just the first six bars. The first six bars also formed all or part of the Gubernatorial Salute at the State level.

Lyrics (standard version)

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!

O Lord our God arise,
Scatter her enemies,
And make them fall:
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On Thee our hopes we fix:
God save us all.

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!