'God Save The King' was a patriotic song first publicly performed in London in 1745, which came to be referred
to as the National Anthem from the beginning of the 19th century. The words and tune are anonymous, and may
date back to the 17th century.
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 spread 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.