The new single by singer songwriter Jamie Lonsdale is the patriotic hymn ‘I Vow To Thee My Country’, which will be released on the 7th May to commemorate the Royal British Legion’s Centenary year, with all proceeds of the single being donated to the RBL charity.
Celebrating a century of service, the RBL continues to respond to the changing needs of the Armed Forces community. Jamie and his family have a long history of service in the armed forces, with Jamie himself in the past serving as a Royal Navy officer on board HM Yacht Britannia and it was poignant that ‘I Vow To Thee My Country’ was one of His Royal Highness Prince Philip’s chosen musical pieces, which was played at his recent funeral, which reflected The Duke’s service with the Royal Navy and the importance and affection of the piece to those that have served in the British military forces.
As a descendent of the The Duke of Wellington and Lord Raglan (the British commander in the Crimean War) and a further three great uncles on the battlefield at Waterloo, it was compulsory that Jamie would ‘do his duty’.
The Grenadier Guards was the family’s expectation but, not fancying the idea of spending nights in trenches, Jamie joined the Navy at 18 and trained as an officer at Dartmouth. He served for 5 years, his final commission on board the Royal Yacht Britannia.
But Britannia wasn’t his first link to the Royals. In fact, old-Pangbournian Jamie is a direct descendant of King Edward I. Jamie is a keen historian and has collected many historical family heirlooms over the years including two locks of hair from The Duke of Wellington, dated from 1813 and 1837, which has been passed down the generations. Other significant pieces include Lord Fitzroy Somerset’s (Lord Raglan’s) telescope made in 1810, which was used on the Battlefield of Waterloo. Raglan and Wellington worked side by side for some 40 years. Raglan died in 1855 on active service in the Crimea, his great grandchild Norman Somerset was great friends with The Prince of Wales. Jamie has letters and pictures that the Prince of Wales took of Norman. Norman was killed in action on the battlefield after being shot in the eye. Queen Mary personally wrote to Jamie’s great grandparents to offer sympathies. The fascinating family history has been carefully curated by Jamie over the years and his love of history has armed him with a captivating knowledge of his ancestors.
An in depth look of Jamie’s family history has been described by Jamie himself here –
Jamie has already appeared on BBC Songs of Praise, with a performance of ‘I Vow To Thee My Country’, in a stunning TV debut. The performance can be viewed here –
Jamie’s new single was recorded at Abbey Road Studios, just as Britain emerged from its first lockdown. He was the first artist to work at Abbey Road Studios with a live orchestra, post Lockdown and all under strict government Covid guidelines. All proceeds from the single will go to the Royal British Legion.