Queen Elizabeth II initiated a tribute to the United States on Saturday morning, the 20th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks.
As reported by the BBC, there was a special changing of the guard ceremony at Windsor Castle, at which time the Band of the Welsh Guards played “The Star-Spangled Banner,” followed by a moment of silence. This was an echo of the request the Queen made of the Band of the Coldstream Guards to do likewise in September 2001 at Buckingham Palace. That showing of U.K.-U.S. solidarity, in which a foreign national anthem played during a changing of the guard in the absence of an official state visit, was an unprecedented move at the time.
The Queen also directed a message to President Joe Biden, which said: “As we mark the 20th anniversary of the terrible attacks on September 11 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.
“My visit to the site of the World Trade Center in 2010 is held fast in my memory.
It reminds me that as we honor those 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.”
A private service was held by the September 11 U.K. Families Support Group in London’s Grosvenor Square. A vigil was planned for the evening, in which 67 candles would be lit, representing the number of British citizens who were killed in the attacks.
More Great Stories From Vanity Fair
— Natalie Portman on Britney Spears and the Scent of Love
— Behind Queen Elizabeth’s Surprising Wit
— Are the Literary Jonathans Still Relevant?
— The True Story of a Hollywood Partnership Built and Destroyed by Money, Sex, and Celebrity
— The Best Shampoo Bars to Lighten 2021’s Environmental Load
— Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez Make the Most of Summer’s End
— The Most Influential Pop-Rock Band Ever? The Monkees!
— Prince William and Kate Middleton’s “Normal” Parenting Tips
— From the Archive: Meet the Women Who Domesticated the Rolling Stones
— Sign up for “The Buyline” to receive a curated list of fashion, books, and beauty buys in one weekly newsletter.