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Rule Britannia written as part of a revolt by the Prince of Wales against King George II?

Oxford University has made the claim, based on two letters from 1740 recently discovered in the Bodleian Library.

Two swallows don't make a summer, so we're reserving judgement.

Whatever its origins, Rule Britannia has long inspired Britons who 'never will be slaves'. It has become a brilliantly patriotic song, the embodiment of Britain's refusal to bow to conquerors with its wildly enthusiastic chorus, Britons never will be slaves!

Rule Britannia, written by James Thomson and David Mallet, and set to music by Thomas Arne, was first performed in 1740 as the finale to Alfred: A Masque.

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