From Ariana Grande to Stevie Wonder, a slew of entertainers has paid tribute to Aretha Franklin since the Queen of Soul passed away two weeks ago. And now you can add the military band at Buckingham Palace to that list.
As the music icon was laid to rest in Detroit on Friday, Aug. 31, the U.K. military band, the Band of the Welsh Guards, paid tribute to Franklin from across the pond. The stirring performance took place on Friday morning during Buckingham Palace’s famous Changing of the Guard.
Listen to the Band of the Welsh Guards’ cover of Franklin’s “R.E.S.P.E.C.T” in this video posted by the Royal Family:
The crowds that formed at Buckingham Palace to watch the changing of the guard cheered as the British army band, which provides music during the ceremony, played “R.E.S.P.E.C.T” in honor of the iconic singer. Franklin, who died of pancreatic cancer on Aug. 16 at the age of 76, first covered the song in 1967. Although originally an Otis Redding tune, the song has become synonymous with the Queen of Soul.
The Army in London wrote on its Facebook page in honor of the performance:
“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.”
The Army of London continued:
“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 Queen of Soul was laid to rest Friday in an hours-long funeral service at Greater Grace Temple in Detroit. Hundreds of Franklin’s friends, loved ones and fellow celebrities gathered at the church to mourn her death and celebrate her life, with U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, Smokey Robinson, Faith Hill, Jennifer Hudson and President Bill Clinton among the high-profile performers and speakers.