On September 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 people lost their lives when the United States was attacked by terrorists. One day later, Queen Elizabeth broke a 600 year-old tradition to honor America in a beautiful way.

The Amazon Prime documentary “The Queen’s Diamond Decades” revealed that the day after the terrorist attacks, the Queen made the decision to change the traditional Changing of the Guard ceremony to include the Americans. She had the American national anthem played during a special ceremony in order to show solidarity with the United States.

“The following morning in London, the Queen broke with tradition to show solidarity with America,” said the documentary’s narrator Patricia Hodge. “They’ve never done it like this before.”

This marked the first time the Queen had ever let her troops play the American national anthem. Around 5,000 people, many of whom were Americans, gathered outside Buckingham Palace for the ceremony. Prince Andrew was there as well to lead the troops in a formal salute.

“The band then played a selection of somber American music, including ‘Hymn for the Fallen,’ written by the composer John Williams and used in the final credits of the film ‘Saving Private Ryan,’” The Telegraph reported.

Later that week, the Queen went to a special service in London in remembrance of those who were lost on 9/11. The monarch was photographed with tears in her eyes as she left St. Paul’s Cathedral afterwards.

The Queen would go on to visit Ground Zero, where the World Trade Center once stood, in 2010. There, she laid a wreath in respect, and met with the families of those who died gun the attacks.

Debbie Palmer, whose husband was a FDNY battalion fire chief that was killed on 9/11, spent a few minutes meeting with the Queen. She said afterwards that the Queen told her that the terrorist attacks were the worst thing she could ever imagine.

“She said ‘I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything in my life as bad as that,’” Palmer said. “And I said ‘Let’s hope we never do again.'”

Friday marked the nineteenth anniversary of the horrific terrorist attacks. God bless the Queen for being there for America when we needed her most.

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