Arts & Culture

Buckingham Palace Pays Tribute to Aretha Franklin During the Changing of the Guard

"There was only one tune that would do for today’s ceremony."

The Band of the Welsh Guards paid tribute to Aretha Franklin during the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Friday morning, the day of Franklin's funeral.

Tourists who came for the ritual were treated to a version of the late singer's 1967 hit “Respect” performed by the band, who are famous for their red tunics and bearskin hats.

The song offered a surprising twist on the popular tourist attraction in Central London, during which Queen Elizabeth II’s Guard hands over responsibility to a new Guard.

"In the Army Respect for others underpins all that we do, so there was only one tune that would do for today’s ceremony: the 1967 Aretha Franklin hit “R.E.S.P.E.C.T.” a declaration from a strong confident woman who knows that she has everything," the British Army posted on their YouTube channel with an accompanying video.

"The Band of the Welsh Guards are world famous for their musical versatility and professional performance and this morning paid tribute to another musical icon and one that has been of huge influence and inspiration to our musicians – Aretha Franklin, whose funeral was being held in Detroit 3,748 miles away, at the same time of the Queen’s Guard Change."

Across the pond, mourners including former President Bill Clinton, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Smokey Robinson and Clive Davis gathered at the Greater Grace Temple in Detroit—the city Franklin called home for most of her life—for the Queen of Soul's funeral service.

Bill and Hillary Clinton arrive at Aretha Franklin’s funeral.

The 76-year-old singer died at her Detroit home on August 16, the Associated Press confirmedDuring her 60-year career, the Queen of Soul won 18 Grammy Awards and sold more than 75 million records worldwide.

In a Tweet on Friday, the British Army said, "Respect for others underpins all we do in the @BritishArmy so it was no surprise that the @WelshGuardsBand paid tribute to musical icon and inspiration #ArethaFranklin at Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace today. @RoyalFamily #ArethaFranklinFuneral #RESPECT."


It's not the first time Buckingham Palace has utilized the Changing of the Guard ceremony to recognize major world events.

On September 12, the day after the 9/11 terror attacks in Manhattan and D.C., the U.S. National Anthem was played during the ritual.

This story originally appeared on
* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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Rose Minutaglio
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