In the past few weeks, Buckingham Palace has been shadowed by shame and controversy following Prince Andrew's removal from the institution and his sex abuse allegations. However, on Monday (17 January), the Queen decided to break away from the drama and bring life back to the palace by marking Martin Luther King Daywith a special tribute.
Marking MLK Day
17 January is a national holiday in the United States that celebrates the birthday of freedom fighter Martin Luther King Jr. To commemorate the historical figure and his contribution to the civil rights movement, Buckingham Palace had the Band of the Grenadier Guards play Stevie Wonder's version of Happy Birthday during the Changing the Guard ceremony. The Queen's social media entourage then posted a video of the full event on her Instagram account and captioned it:
🎶 To mark #MLKDay, the Band of the @grenadier.guards play Stevie Wonder’s ‘Happy Birthday’ at today’s Changing the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
Changing the Guard ceremony
The Changing of the Guard ceremony is a 45-minute event that usually takes place in the palace's 'forecourt' every other day from 10:45 AM and is free for everyone to watch. During this formal ceremony, the guards that are protecting Buckingham Palace hand over their duties to a new group of soldiers, and the gesture is accompanied by music. Visitlondon.com adds:
The guard that looks after Buckingham Palace is called The Queen's Guard and is made up of soldiers on active duty from the Household Division's Foot Guards. The guards are dressed in traditional red tunics and bearskin hats.