When the Queen Broke Tradition To Support America After 9/11

September 8, 2022Mac Caltrider
Queen Elizabeth II was Britain's longest serving monarch. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Queen Elizabeth II was Britain's longest serving monarch. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Queen Elizabeth II died Thursday, Sept. 8, at the age of 96. As the longest-reigning monarch in British history, she held a position in the British government steeped in centuries of tradition. Between the annual tagging of royal swans along the Thames known as Swan Upping and a ceremony stretching back to the 13th century known as Royal Maundy where the queen would hand out silver to elderly citizens, the British monarchy is grounded by ancient customs. But in 2001, following the terrorist attacks against the United States on Sept. 11, Queen Elizabeth II broke with 600 years of tradition in a show of solidarity with the United States.

As a sign of respect to the American people, Queen Elizabeth II requested the Band of the Coldstream Guards — a unit dating back to 1785 — play “The Star-Spangled Banner” rather than the traditional British marches or current popular songs during the daily Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. The ceremony dates back to the 15th century and the reign of King Henry VII. Two days after the attacks, the US national anthem — normally reserved for play during a visit by American dignitaries — was performed before a large crowd and broadcast on televisions across the world.

In footage of the queen’s display of unity, tearful onlookers can be seen waving American flags and wiping tears from their eyes. Two months later, British troops would join Americans in Afghanistan to hunt for those responsible for the terrorist attacks that killed 2,977 people. British and American service members continued to fight alongside one another in Afghanistan for the next 20 years.

Read Next: The Gunships That Didn’t Shoot: 30 Hours Inside the Two AC-130J ‘Ghostriders’ That Flew 30 Hours Over Kabul

Mac Caltrider
Mac Caltrider

Mac Caltrider is a senior staff writer for Coffee or Die Magazine. He served in the US Marine Corps and is a former police officer. Caltrider earned his bachelor’s degree in history and now reads anything he can get his hands on. He is also the creator of Pipes & Pages, a site intended to increase readership among enlisted troops. Caltrider spends most of his time reading, writing, and waging a one-man war against premature hair loss.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
Higher Cancer Rates Found in Military Pilots, Ground Crews

In its yearlong study of almost 900,000 service members who flew on or worked on military aircraft b...

March 20, 2023Associated Press
whiskey pour
Veterans Lead the Way Among America’s Growing Craft Distilleries

American veterans are taking the lessons they learned in the military and changing the craft distilling industry.

March 20, 2023Mac Caltrider
military suicide veteran suicide
Military Moves To Cut Suicides, But Defers Action on Guns

In a memo released Thursday, Austin called for the establishment of a suicide prevention working gro...

March 17, 2023Associated Press
us military drills japan-south korea
US, Partners Stage Military Drills Amid Japan-South Korea Talks

The Sea Dragon 23 exercises that started on Wednesday will culminate in more than 270 hours of in-fl...

March 17, 2023Associated Press
leo jenkins a word like god
‘A Word Like God’: New Book From Army Ranger Leo Jenkins

In his latest poetry collection, Ranger-turned-writer Leo Jenkins turns away from war to explore cosmic themes of faith, fatherhood, and art.

March 16, 2023Mac Caltrider
us drone
Pentagon Video Shows Russian Jet Dumping Fuel on US Drone

The Pentagon on Thursday released video of what it said was a Russian fighter jet dumping fuel on a ...

March 16, 2023Associated Press
10th Mountain Division
‘Climb to Glory’ — A History of the US Army’s 10th Mountain Division

From the mountains of Italy to the mountains of Afghanistan, the US Army’s 10th Mountain Division built its legendary reputation by fighting in some of the most inhospitable places in the world.

March 16, 2023Matt Fratus
iraq invasion 20 years later
Why US Troops Remain in Iraq 20 Years After 'Shock and Awe'

The roughly 2,500 U.S. troops are scattered around the country, largely in military installations in Baghdad and in the north.

March 15, 2023Associated Press
  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
  • Request a Correction
  • Write for Us
  • General Inquiries
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved