On Sept. 14, 2001, Queen Elizabeth II gave the U.S. an honor she had not even given her own country.
Following her death on Thursday, many such stories of the Queen’s past have begun circulating.
In particular, many outlets have reported on her unprecedented move to have “The Star-Spangled” banner played during the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace on Sept. 13, 2001, in honor of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack.
One day later, Queen Elizabeth broke traditions yet again in honor of those lost.
According to the biography of the Queen’s grandson, Prince William, Elizabeth wasn’t fond of national anthems and never even sang her own country’s anthem, “God Save the Queen.”
Nevertheless, during a Sept. 14, 2001, memorial service at St. Paul’s Cathedral, she belted out “The Star-Spangled Banner” along with many of those in attendance.
“[D]during a memorial service at St. Paul’s Cathedral held in honor of those who had perished in the attacks, the Queen stood to sing ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ marking the first time any British monarch had sung the American anthem,” Joann F. Price, the book’s author, wrote.
“Richard Kay, a columnist for London’s Daily Mail, noted, ‘The Queen does not “sing” national anthems. Her mouth never opens when they are played.
It was the ultimate sign of unity, friendship, and support for America.'”
On the day prior, more than 3,000 people were in attendance for the Changing of the Guard ceremony as the Coldstream Guards played the U.S. national anthem, according to The Guardian.
Hundreds of those in attendance were Americans.
Members of the crowd could be seen singing along and weeping.
When the music was over, the thousands present stood silent for two minutes in solidarity with the victims of the terror attack, The Guardian reported.
According to Prince William’s biography, it was actually William who suggested the event take place.
“The hundreds of tourists outside the palace gates, many of whom were stranded in England after the attacks, burst into applause and cheered,” Price wrote.
According to Newsweek, on Sept. 11, 2021, Queen Elizabeth II ordered the Welsh Guard to play the song yet again during another Changing of the Guard ceremony.
In the Changing of the Guard tradition’s long history, few other changes of this magnitude have been made.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.