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Queen Elizabeth II Honors 9/11 Victims As U.S. National Anthem Plays at Changing of the Guard

Queen Elizabeth II Honors 9/11 Victims As U.S. National Anthem Plays at Changing of the Guard
Queen Elizabeth II Shutterstock

Paying tribute. On the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks in New York City, Queen Elizabeth II has marked the occasion with a heartfelt note to President Joseph R. Biden and honored the victims at various events in England.

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Outside of her residence at Windsor Castle, the Band of the Welsh Guards paid tribute by playing a special rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” on Saturday, September 11, during their Changing of the Guard routine at 11 a.m. BT, according to the BBC.

The musical performance, which echoed a similar version from twenty years ago at Buckingham Palace, was followed by a moment of silence among the crowds.

The reigning English monarch, 95, also shared kind remarks for President Biden, 78, via the official Royal Family Instagram page on Saturday, alongside a photo of herself placing a wreath at the Ground Zero memorial in July 2010.

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“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 affects, as well as the first responders and rescue workers called to duty,” her statement read. “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 these from many nations, faiths and backgrounds who lost their lives, we also pay tribute to the resilience and determination of the communities who joined together to rebuild.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle also honored the victims by blacking out their Archewell website, only displaying the words, “In Memoriam: September 11, 2001” and a list of names of the deceased.

Following the monarch’s special tribute at Windsor Castle, the acting U.S. ambassador, Philip T. Reeker, was in attendance for the special memorial and spoke to the PA news agency about the events.

“It’s an incredible privilege to represent my country today on this somber anniversary but at this ceremony,” he told the press at the time. “We’re incredibly grateful to her Majesty the Queen for the playing of our national anthem. [It] represents the friendship and solidarity between our two countries, the United States and the United Kingdom, and united is the key word. This has shown the special relationship remains so crucial to all of us.”

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Following the 2001 events, the Queen authorized the British troops to play the U.S. national anthem at the Changing of the Guard ceremony outside Buckingham Palace on September 13, 2001.

“For the first time, the Queen allowed her troops to play ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ the national anthem of the United States, during the ceremony in tribute to the many who died,” The Telegraph wrote at the time. “Standing beyond the palace railings, many of the 5,000 Americans broke down in tears and held their right hands over their heart in salute.”

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