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How Buckingham Palace Paid Tribute to Aretha Franklin


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This week, people around the world paid tribute to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin—including the Welsh Guards (yes, those men in the red uniforms and tall bearskin hats) at Buckingham Palace.

Usually, the changing of the guard—the ceremony in which the guard regiments are swapped out in front of the palace—is a formal, highly choreographed affair. But on Friday, the soldiers decided to switch things up.

Instead of the military band playing a traditional tune, it launched into a brass rendition of Franklin’s famous 1967 anthem “Respect.”

It’s not the first time the band has gotten creative with its set list—just last month, it performed “Dancing Queen” as a nod to Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, and in 2014, it played the Game of Thrones theme song. However, those were more whimsical undertakings, sure to entertain the tourist crowds gathered to watch outside the gates.

While the latest choice was just as much of a delightful surprise, it was also a poignant reminder of Franklin’s legacy and the great reach her music achieved. Usually, the guards stand in service to England’s ruling monarch. But this week, they honored another queen.

Now Read: Inside the Duchess of Sussex’s Whirlwind Trip to Toronto

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