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To Mark An American Queen's Funeral, Buckingham Palace Plays 'Respect'

Spectators gather daily to watch the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace in London. On Friday, a military band paid tribute to Aretha Franklin at the ceremony.

Aretha Franklin is being laid to rest in Detroit, in a ceremony attended by legendary musicians and a former president. In the U.K., the Queen of Soul was also honored on Friday at Buckingham Palace, where a military band played "Respect."

The palace's famous changing of the guard took place just before Franklin's funeral was set to begin in the U.S. — and the Band of the Welsh Guards, which provides music during the ceremony, took the moment to honor her.

From the unit's Facebook page:

"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."

Spectators who gathered to watch the Coldstream Guards regiment perform the changing of the guard ceremony Friday morning cheered and applauded the song made famous by Franklin — whom the band called a "huge influence and inspiration to our musicians."

Franklin's funeral in Detroit will include speeches from former President Bill Clinton, as well as civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, actress Cicely Tyson and others. Musicians performing at the ceremony include Stevie Wonder and Jennifer Hudson.

You can stream audio and video of Aretha Franklin's funeral at NPR.org.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.
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