Watch: Jacob Rees-Mogg recites spoken word version of national anthem to support the Queen
Jacob Rees-Mogg gave a spoken word rendition of the national anthem in the Commons after he was urged to hold a debate on the monarchy amid a racism row.
Conservative MP Sir David Amess reiterated his own support for the Queen when asking for a debate on the role of the monarchy.
He said: “During such a debate, I’d very much hope that the argument could be made that it is never wise for a family dispute to be aired in public with everyone getting damaged and hurt by the fallout.
“Perhaps during such a debate we could celebrate the fact that we’re so blessed to have had our monarch for 70 years compared to the alternative of having a president as our head of state, which we very nearly had under Tony Blair.”
Responding, Rees-Mogg suggested any debate to praise the Queen would take up several hours of parliamentary time, telling MPs: “Were we to have a debate to praise our sovereign lady, it would take up all the legislative time available in this House.”
At this point, Rees-Mogg surprised MPs when he added: “So all I’ll say is ‘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 let them fall, frustrate their knavish tricks, confound their politics, on thee our hopes we fix, God save us all’.”
The fallout from the Harry and Meghan interview continues to reverberate, with one Labour MP saying that the Queen should publicly condemn racism.
Buckingham Palace released a statement on Tuesday that said the royal family was “saddened” to hear of the couple’s “challenging” few years.
The statement added: “The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. Whilst some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has also now commented but said allegations of royal racism made by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are a “matter now for the family”.
Starmer said: “The issue that Meghan raised of race and mental health are serious. The Palace has now responded and I do think it is a matter now for the family and I do hope it is resolved as soon as possible.
“But the wider issues in society about race and mental health are something for all of us to take seriously.”
The Duke of Cambridge on Thursday made his first public comments about the row, defending the monarchy against accusations of racism.
While visiting a school in east London, a reporter asked William: “Is the royal family a racist family, sir?”
The duke, with the duchess by his side, replied: “We’re very much not a racist family.”
The reporter asked whether there has been any communication between the royal brothers, whose relationship is known to have been troubled in the past.
He asked William: “Sir, have you spoken to your brother since the interview?”, and the duke replied: “No, I haven’t spoken to him yet, but I will do.”
Watch: William defends royal family against accusations of racism