If God won’t save the Queen, then John Lydon is determined to try. The former Sex Pistols singer is responsible for some of the most barbed comments ever lobbed in the late Queen’s direction, but he’s now defending her honor against his former bandmates, who he claims are trying to “cash in on Queen Elizabeth II’s death.”

It’s not entirely clear what he’s talking about. Update: The rest of the band doesn’t know either. In a statement to Consequence, Sex Pistols wrote, “We cannot understand what he would be referring to. Other than a couple of requests for use of imagery or audio in news reports on The Queen and her impact on culture, there’s nothing new relating to ‘God Save the Queen’ being promoted or released in any way.”

But in a lengthy social media statement, Lydon alluded to “number of requests” that “the band and their management have approved… against John’s wishes on the basis of the majority court-ruling agreement.”


This is a bit disingenuous; in 1998 Lydon himself consented to decide all Sex Pistols matters with a Band Member Agreement (BMA). But as it turns out, he doesn’t agree with his old bandmates Steve Jones, Glen Matlock, and Paul Cook very often. In 2021, Lydon lost a very dumb legal battle to block Danny Boyle’s Sex Pistols miniseries, citing his “deep-felt and passionate aversion to becoming a ‘prisoner’ of a hostile majority,” in the process joining a long line of blowhards asking judges to overturn democracy.

He didn’t get his wish then, and he is apparently not getting his wish now. His team wrote, “In John’s view, the timing for endorsing any Sex Pistols requests for commercial gain in connection with ‘God Save The Queen’ in particular is tasteless and disrespectful to the Queen and her family at this moment in time.”

The statement also alluded to Lydon’s political progression, which has seen the “Anarchy in the UK” singer come out against anarchy, as well as his response to Elizabeth II’s death, which quoted the more traditional, pro-monarchy version of “God Save the Queen.”


“While he has never supported the monarchy, he feels that the family deserves some respect in this difficult time, as would be expected for any other person or family when someone close to them has died,” Lydon’s statement concluded. Check out the full text below.

After Elizabeth II’s death, we rounded up a selection of tributes, criticisms, jokes, and other reactions from the world of entertainment. The Queen’s passing also inspired Kanye West to release all his grudges, Pearl Jam to cover The Beatles’ “Her Majesty,” and the revisiting of classic tales about the Queen, including that she ditched a private Paul McCartney concert to watch Twin Peaks.