Business is booming.

After Sept. 11, Queen Elizabeth Ordered Up ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’

With its protocols and pageantry, the British monarchy’s tenacity to tradition is so strong that a departure from its norms speaks volumes.

And when Queen Elizabeth II ordered a break with the custom more than two decades ago, it signaled global mourning and comforted grieving Americans stranded far from home.

Two days after the September 11, 2001 attacks, Elizabeth ordered a military band to play “The Star-Spangled Banner” during the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, one of the most popular and visible public displays of British tradition.

The Changing of the Guard – performed by soldiers in red tunics and high bear hats – is accompanied by a full military band playing traditional marches and more familiar tunes. But the decision to play the former colony’s national anthem was a poignant show of solidarity after the attacks.

Last year, on the 20th anniversary of the attacks, the Queen again ordered the United States’ national anthem to be played as the guards changed. In a message to President Biden at the time, Queen Elizabeth II said her thoughts and prayers — “and those of my family and the entire nation” — were with the victims, survivors, families and rescuers affected by the attacks.