John Lydon quoted a line from the original and official version of the British National Anthem, “God Save the Queen” – which will now be “God Save the King” – in his recent tribute to Queen Elizabeth II following her death on Thursday (9 September).
In 1977, the Sex Pistols caused uproar when they released their controversial single –which shared its name with the UK’s national song – a week before the Silver Jubilee.
Its lyrics expressed negative views of the monarchy, including the opening lines, “God save the Queen/The fascist regime/They made you a moron”.
After its 1977 release, the BBC and the Independent Broadcasting Authority refused to air the song.
The record was recently re-released for the Queen’s June 2022 Platinum Jubilee.
Selling over 5,700 vinyl copies, the single topped the Official Physical Singles Chart Top 100 in June.
In the same month, Lydon penned an op-ed for The Times, where he clarified some misconceptions. “God bless the Queen. She’s put up with a lot,” he wrote.
— John Lydon Official (@lydonofficial) September 9, 2022
“I’ve got no animosity against any one of the royal family. Never did. It’s the institution of it that bothers me and the assumption that I’m to pay for that.”
However, despite any of his negative views toward the institution of monarchy, the 66-year-old put them aside to post a tribute to the late Queen.
“Rest in Peace Queen Elizabeth II,” Lydon tweeted Thursday, alongside the original portrait of the Queen that the band later altered for the cover art of their 1977 song.
“Send her victorious,” he added, quoting lyrics from the British National Anthem.
Lydon is among many celebrities who have posted tributes in response to the Queen’s death, including Elton John, Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney, and Sting.