|THE MONARCHY AND SCOTLAND
By Alistair McConnachie and first published in a Sovereignty Special Report distributed free with the May 2002 issue.
"The Queen is not the rightful Monarch of Scotland, and Prince Bertrand of Brazil, or the Duke of Bavaria, has a better claim to the Scottish throne than Prince Charles"
It is to live in nostalgia. How far into the past do you want to go to seek 'the legitimate line'?
If you go all the way back into the past, you will find that what you may term 'the legitimate line' was considered by others at the time to be illegitimate. The Stuarts, for example, were not recognised by all the Scottish population.
In any case, the Windsors are the legitimate Monarchs of Scotland by the terms of the Act of Settlement. George III was the first rightful King of Scots by the terms of this Act, which states that the ruling family had to live 3 generations in the country.
"The fifth verse of the National Anthem is anti-Scottish"
The fact is that the anachronistic "Rebellious Scots to crush" verse is not, and never was, part of an official national anthem, because there has never been an official version. Presently, there are four commonly accepted verses.
There are literally scores of fifth verses, as a reading of God Save the Queen: The History and Romance of the Worlds First National Anthem by Percy A. Scholes (London: Oxford University Press, 1954) makes evident. There is even a verse about putting "Yankees in a fix".
The "Rebellious Scots" verse, therefore, is not "the fifth verse", rather it is "a" verse - one of many. Moreover, it is a verse last sung, if at all, in the eighteenth century. It was probably not written by the person who wrote the first verse, nor even the person who added the second and third.
In any case, the phrase "rebellious" Scots is a clear reference to the Jacobites. Thus the sentiment, if uttered, would have been approved by many Scots, including the entire Church of Scotland, who were likewise against what they considered to be the threatening Catholicism of the Stuarts.
There has never been an official version of the National Anthem, and Buckingham Palace has never approved any version, believing the words evolve by accepted tradition rather than official decree.
Anyone who imagines this was, or is, "the fifth verse", or an "official" verse, of today's National Anthem, and quotes, prints, or sings it as such, is just plain wrong.
Today, the anthem has four commonly accepted verses, the fourth of which was added by William Hickson in the nineteenth century and reads: Nor on this land alone/But, be Gods mercy's known/From shore to shore/Lord make the nations see/That men should brothers be/And form one family/The wide world o'er
Even these sentiments do not appeal to everyone. When sung at a ceremony for Birmingham's female Lord Mayor in May 1996, the fifth line was considered to marginalise women and was changed to "That all should united be".
In 1999 I issued a challenge, in the letters pages of The Herald for anybody to show me printed evidence in a programme from an official function anywhere in the world, in the last 250 years, which proved that this "rebellious Scots" verse had been sung. I'm still waiting, and I don't expect to be surprised anytime soon.
Footnote, added Thursday 26 April 2012:
After spending considerable time checking various sources and authorities, including speaking with people associated with the Church, we sent the following letter to The Scotsman on the evening of 14 April. Disappointingly, and quite extraordinarily, it was not published.