Viewers react as ‘Rule, Britannia!’ played in original form during ‘Last Night Of The Proms’

"It makes me so damn proud"

During last night’s special performance of ‘Last Night Of The Proms’, ‘Rule, Britannia!’ and ‘Land Of Hope And Glory’ were played in their original forms despite producers previously saying orchestral-only versions would be performed.

Last month, it was announced that the songs would only feature as instrumentals, after facing criticism over their historic links with colonialism and slavery.

However, the BBC confirmed last week that the well-known British anthems would be sung by a select group of vocalists during this year’s event.


A reduced orchestra performed the traditional anthems last night (September 12) to an empty Royal Albert Hall due to coronavirus restrictions.

The full, uncensored versions of the anthems were met with joy from a number of viewers.

“Singing Land of Hope & Glory and Rule Britannia on the Last Night of the Proms makes me SO DAMN PROUD,” one Twitter user wrote.

Another added: “Delighted woke mob put in its place and Rule Britannia sung at @lastnightoftheProms. More commonsense please at the @bbc.”


“How could the @bbcproms ever consider not singing Rule Britannia etc at Last Night of the Proms. It simply would not be the same,” a third person wrote. “Hopefully they have seen the strong feeling throughout the UK about this. This evening proves just this!!”

See more reactions to yesterday’s ‘Last Night At The Proms’ performances below:

Last year, Lily Allen faced a barrage of criticism after calling for ‘Rule, Britannia!’ to be banned.

The ‘Smile’ singer dissected the lyrics of the traditional anthem, which was first penned in 1740, in a series of posts on her Instagram stories.

Taking aim at the track, which originated from a poem by James Thomson, she singled out the lyrics: “Britons never, never, never shall be slaves. The nations, not so blest as thee, Must in their turn, to tyrants fall, While thous shalt flourish, shalt flourish great and free.”

Allen said: “Sorry what? Britannia rule the waves… I think we should not read this song anymore.”