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The Prince and The Christmas Carol?

First the National Anthem, now O Come All Ye faithful ...

It must be a true story because it was on the BBC radio @

What the wireless said ....

"One of the most popular Christmas carols has a secret political code linked to the Jacobite rebellion, a Durham University professor claims.

According to Head of Music Bennett Zon, O Come All Ye Faithful is actually a birth ode to Bonnie Prince Charlie.

He said "clear references" to The Prince were in the lyrics, written by John Francis Wade in the 18th Century.

The Prince was defeated at the Battle of Culloden in 1746 after raising an army to take the British throne.

Born shortly before Christmas in December 1720, Bonnie Prince Charlie was the grandson of England's last Catholic monarch, King James II. Charles was born in exile in Italy and became the focus for Catholic Jacobite rebels intent on restoring the House of Stuart to the British throne".

[Ed: Like father, like son perhaps? We have not yet found an image of Prince Charles Edward in his mother's arms as a baby but this shows his father, James III and VIII, with his mother Maria de Modena shortly after his birth. It was the arrival of James III to Queen Maria and King James II that led to his flight and the 'usurpation' of the thrones of England and Scotland by William III of Orange and his wife Mary at the behest of the English Parliament.]

Popular consciousness

"In 1745, he raised an army to invade the British Isles, taking Edinburgh [and defeating the Hanoverian army at Prestonpans], but was defeated at Culloden in April 1746.

"Prof Zon, said there was "far more" to the carol - also known as Adeste Fideles - than was originally thought. Fideles is Faithful Catholic Jacobites. Bethlehem is a common Jacobite cipher for England, and Regem Angelorum is a well-known pun on Angelorum, angels and Anglorum, English.

"The meaning of the Christmas carol is clear:

'Come and Behold Him, Born the King of Angels' really means, 'Come and Behold Him, Born the King of the English' - Bonnie Prince Charlie."

"Professor Zon said the Jacobite meaning of the carol gradually faded as the cause lost its grip on popular consciousness. But he added: 'The real meaning of the carol remains, however. Although whose birth we choose to celebrate in it remains a matter of personal decision'."

Published Date: January 13th 2009

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