As a result of COVID-19 restrictions, a full choir will not be allowed to sing ‘Rule, Britannia!’ and ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ at this year’s Last Night of the Proms, but a select group from the BBC Singers will perform the songs from the Royal Albert Hall, with audiences invited to sing along at home.
‘Rule, Britannia!’ is usually performed by the soloist with the audience joining in, but this year there are no audiences present in the Royal Albert Hall because of social distancing restrictions.
There had been speculation in the press that the BBC would seek to drop ‘Rule, Britannia!’ from its Last Night programming in light of the recent Black Lives Matter protests because of its associations with colonialism, but the BBC Proms has made it clear that they wish to maintain the tradition.
As usual, Parry’s Jerusalem and Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ will be performed, but in newly commissioned arrangements by Errollyn Wallen and Anne Dudley respectively.