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Background: many years ago, while studying in the UK, I bought a pocket-sized, softcover edition of "The Authorised Daily Prayer Book of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth". This was in 1994 or 1995; as it was published before Princess Diana died, the "Prayer for the Royal Family" included references not only to "Our sovereign lady, Queen Elizabeth" and "Elizabeth, the Queen Mother" but also to both the Prince of Wales and the Princess of Wales. (This is from memory; unfortunately, I lost the siddur some time in the early 2000s, so I no longer have it in my collection.)

The recent death of Queen Elizabeth and the ascension of Charles to the throne means, I suppose, that future editions of the Authorised Daily Prayer Book will include a new version the "Prayer for the Royal Family". This has me wondering: How many different editions of the Authorised Prayer Book have there been? Did they issue a new version every time there was a change in the Royal Family? For example, did they revise it when Charles and Diana divorced, and then again after her death? What about when Charles was born, or when the Queen Mother died? Apart from the "Prayer for the Royal Family", what other changes are there between the different editions? Is there a comprehensive list somewhere of all the different editions, including publication dates and what changes are found in each?

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2 Answers 2

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Partial answer: According to this listing by a person who has been collecting all editions, there are 33 editions as of 2006, with further printings without changes from later years. Another edition was supposed to have come out in 2021. I will note that in 1962 and 1990 the numbering system was renewed, so the number 33 is reached by adding the new editions to the old counting.

In the link you can also see the differences between the Royal Family prayers in each edition, including the American edition which had a prayer for the President.

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    We all consult HaRav Google as needed, but I am still extremely impressed you were able to find this information. Chazak u baruch, @Harel! Commented Sep 11, 2022 at 11:26
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    @יהושעק Mohara"r Google led me to Chacham Wikipedia which linked to that site. No big deal...😅
    – Harel13
    Commented Sep 11, 2022 at 11:46
  • @Harel13 maybe replace the link with an archived link (in case the link eventually goes dead)? web.archive.org/web/20240413190927/http://policeboxes.com/ajc/… Commented May 31 at 14:08
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I am happy to supplement the above answer without reference to either "Mohara"r Google" or "Chacham Wikipedia".

The copyright page of the current, 2022, edition (copied below) shows five "editions" First Edition (1890); Second Edition (1962); Third (Centenary) Edition (1990); Fourth Edition (2006) and the US 150th Anniversary Edition [US standing for United Synagogue not United States].

Each of the 1962, 1990 and 2006 editions were genuinely new editions. The "US 150th Anniversary Edition" is essentially identical to the 2006 Fourth Edition - in particular the pagination is unchanged - with an introductory essay by Chief Rabbi Sir Ephraim Mirvis KBE, a Minhag Anglia compendium by Dayan Ivan Binstock of the London Beth Din which sets out prayers and other customs of the United Synagogue in accordance with Minhag Anglia and a revised Prayer for the Royal Family (see further below).

The copyright page from the 2006 Fourth Edition (copied further below) shows that:

  1. The First Edition (1890) enjoyed 26 impressions between 1891-1961. As can be seen from photos included in the comprehensive listing
    referenced in the previous answer prepared by Immanuel Burton
    many of these "impressions" were called "editions" when they were published - typically "[n]th edition revised and enlarged under the direction of [the Chief Rabbi of the time]".

  2. The Second Edition (1962) enjoyed 7 impressions between 1964-1988.

  3. The Third (Centenary) Edition (1990) was enlarged in 1992 and revised in 1998.

The Prayer for the Royal Family revisions prior to the death of Queen Elizabeth II (a"h) are comprehensively set out by Immanuel Burton. The Prayer for the Royal Family in the current, 2022, edition is the victim of unlucky timing. It refers to Queen Camilla as "Our Gracious Queen Consort Camilla" which was the correct term in September 2022 when the edition went to press. By the time of its publication, just after the Coronation on 6 May 2023, the correct wording was "Queen Camilla" (See https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld5803/ldselect/ldproced/191/19103.htm

"A Royal Warrant was issued on 3 May [2023] concerning references to the Queen Consort in formal prayers post-Coronation. The Warrant indicated that, with effect from 6 May 2023, in every prayer for the Royal Family contained in any form of service . . . instead of the words ‘Camilla the Queen Consort’ the words ‘Queen Camilla’ should be inserted. )

Singer's Prayer Book copyright page

2006 edition copyright page

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    Commented Jun 6 at 17:18

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