On August 31, Detroit's Greater Grace Temple wasn't the only place where people gathered to celebrate the late Aretha Franklin. The singer passed away on August 16 at the age of 76 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
While celebrities like Stevie Wonder, Ariana Grande, and Jennifer Hudson were preparing to take the stage to perform at the music legend's service, a band located 3,748 miles away in the United Kingdom delivered an unforgettable tribute.
The Band of Welsh Guards honored the Queen of Soul during the Changing of the Guard Ceremony at Buckingham Palace by playing her hit song, "R-E-S-P-E-C-T."
On their YouTube page, the British Army revealed that Franklin's music "has been of huge influence and inspiration to our musicians." They also noted that in the Army, "respect for others underpins all that we do," so it's only fitting that they performed a rendition of the iconic song.
"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.
"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."
British people from all over, including comedian and late-night host James Corden, took to social media to share how proud the Band of Welsh Guards made them.
This make me proud to be British! Respect. pic.twitter.com/vIyAC5h7Oq— James Corden (@JKCorden) August 31, 2018
Makes me proud to be British too. Such a nice gesture. Lovely tribute to the late great Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin.— Rashid Uzzaman (@rashiduzzaman82) August 31, 2018
This made me proud too. Great way to pay tribute to the "Queen of Soul."— Aaron J. (@TheRealAJ_) September 1, 2018
very cool indeed! RESPECT from the UK’s royalty to America’s queen of soul. the power of music!— Anjana (@AnjuPadmanabhan) September 1, 2018
Some Twitter users took the opportunity to recall another event during which the Changing of the Guards used their music to lift crushed spirits.
Following the 9/11 attacks, the Guards showed their solidarity by playing the American National Anthem as well as other songs by American composers.
"The time when I had the greatest respect was the changing of the guards on 12 September 2001, when lots of [Americans] gathered at the palace because they couldn't [fly] home and this happened," wrote Adam Bede. "I cannot imagine what it must be like to feel so far from home when an atrocity has happen and all flights are grounded. I think all music played by the guards that day was by US composers & of course the national anthem which showed solidarity that we are one world," he added in a separate tweet.
The time when I had the greatest respect was the changing of the guards on 12 September 2001, when lots of american gathered at the palace because they couldn't fligh home and this happenedhttps://t.co/6scHK7DNHr— Adam Bede (@AdamGBede) August 31, 2018
I cannot imagine what it must be like to feel so far from home when an atrocity has happen and all flights are grounded. I think all music played by the guards that day was by US composers & of course the national anthem which showed solidarity that we are one world— Adam Bede (@AdamGBede) August 31, 2018
The royals have always been big fans of Franklin. She performed for Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Albert Hall in 1980 and again in 2002, this time for the Queen's 50th Golden Jubilee.
Franklin was laid to rest in a mausoleum at Woodlawn Cemetery, after the eight-hour service that took place earlier in the day, and four days of open-casket viewings in the days leading up to her interment.