The Queen’s Guards paid tribute to the Queen of Soul on Friday morning as Aretha Franklin’s 1967 hit was played outside of Buckingham Palace.
The Grammy Award-winning tune was played by the Band of the Welsh Guards outside of Her Majesty’s London residence during the Changing of the Guard ceremony.
At Changing of Guard at Buckingham Palace this morning, Respect paid to Aretha Franklin. pic.twitter.com/UEKa0ekmf5
— Chris Botta (@ChrisBottaNHL) August 31, 2018
Taking to Twitter, a British Army spokesperson said: “Respect for others underpins all we do in the British Army so it was no surprise that the Welsh Guards Band paid tribute to musical icon and inspiration Aretha Franklin at Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace today.”
The Buckingham Palace tribute came on the day of the star’s funeral which is taking place in Detroit, Michigan.
Respect for others underpins all we do in the @BritishArmy so it was no surprise that the @WelshGuardsBand paid tribute to musical icon and inspiration #ArethaFranklin at Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace today. @RoyalFamily #ArethaFranklinFuneral #RESPECT pic.twitter.com/ho7fvjEuMh
— The Army in London (@ArmyInLondon) August 31, 2018
A whole host of global stars are expected to perform and give speeches at the funeral, including Ariana Grande, Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Hudson and more.
The singer died at her home in Detroit, Michigan, at the age of 76 after suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer. Her former husband Glynn Turman, who was at her bedside when she died, said that she was “a strong woman to the very end.”
Her career spanned decades and she performed for presidents, royals, and the biggest names around the world.
Aretha’s ex-husband, Mr Turman, appeared on Good Morning Britain after her death and told the hosts about the time Sammy Davis Jr. introduced her to royalty.
“It meant a lot to her and all of us,” Turman said. “The great [singer] Sammy Davis Jr. introduced her to the Queen Mother in a way that was spectacular, and I never forgot it.
“As gracious as the Queen Mother was, you know, Princess Diana was there and Prince Charles, Sammy suddenly said, ‘But we also have royalty in America.’
“[He said] ‘We have the Duke of Ellington, the Count of Bassey, and ladies and gentlemen I bring you the Queen of Soul.’”
Aretha performed for Queen Elizabeth at a show at Royal Albert Hall in 1980 and appeared on a special compilation album that included the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, Queen, Celine Dion and Whitney Houston and was released in 1997 to raise funds for the Princess Diana Memorial Fund. Her contribution was a popular hymn called “I’ll Fly Away.”