Why did the king stand?

Once again, I heard the story on the radio last night of how the tradition of standing during the Hallelujah Chorus of Handel’s Messiah began: King George II stood during that part of the performance, and given that all were to stand when the king stood, the rest of the audience stood as well.

The host commented on various explanations given for which King George II stood:

  1. His gout acted up at that moment and his discomfort caused him to stand

  2. An hour into the performance, he just needed to stretch his legs

  3. He arrived late – precisely at the moment of “The Hallelujah Chorus”

  4. He was moved by the performance

  5. Though a king himself, he recognized his subjection to Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Why do you think he stood?

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