Queen Elizabeth II marked the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in the United States with a special tribute at home.On Saturday, Sept. 11, the Band of the Welsh Guards at Windsor Castle, her residence since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, performed the U.S. National Anthem.
Hundreds of people watched the performance during a special Changing of the Guard ceremony, although the queen herself was not present. After the musicians finished playing, the spectators stood for a minute of silence to honor the almost 3,000 victims of the deadliest terrorist attacks in history.
“We’re incredibly grateful to the gesture by Her Majesty, the queen,” special guest and acting U.S. Ambassador Philip T. Reeker later told the press. “The playing of our National Anthem today at the Changing of the Guard represents the friendship, the solidary between our two countries,” adding, “I think this has shown that the special relationship remains so crucial to all of us.”
Americans Remember 9/11 20 Years Later
It also marked a full circle moment for the queen, who had the Band of the Coldstream Guards perform the “Star-Spangled Banner” outside Buckingham Palace two days after 9/11, in what marked a break from a 600-year royal tradition of only having foreign national anthems played during state visits by world leaders.
In 2010, five years before she gave up international travel, the queen, now 95 years old, visited Ground Zero with husband Prince Philip, who died in April.In 2010, five years before she gave up international travel, the queen, now 95 years old, visited Ground Zero with husband Prince Philip, who died in April.
“As we mark the 20th anniversary of the terrible attacks on 11th September 2001, my thoughts and prayers – and those of my family and the entire nation – remain with the victims, survivors and families affected, as well as the first responders and rescue workers called to duty.”
She continued, “My visit to the site of the World Trade Center in 2010 is held fast in my memory.
It reminds me that as we honour those from many nations, faith and backgrounds who lost their lives, we also pay tribute to the resilience and determination of the communities who joined together to rebuild.”