England’s Queen Elizabeth, who died Thursday at the age of 96, traveled to New York City in 2010 to honor the victims of 9/11, which represented one of many tributes the late monarch paid to those affected by the terrorist attack over the years.
After delivering an eight-minute speech at the United Nations in Lower Manhattan Sept. 11, 2010, Queen Elizabeth traveled by police motorcade to Ground Zero and placed a wreath at the site where the South Tower had once stood before greeting families of victims and first responders.
Queen Elizabeth then made her way to nearby Hanover Square, where she officially opened the British Garden paying tribute to the 67 British citizens who died on 9/11.
Glenn Guzi, a Port Authority official and friend of the royal family, escorted Queen Elizabeth at Ground Zero that day and told Fox News Digital she and her husband were “so moved” during the visit and “deeply understood the enormity of what happened.”
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“They were there to strictly show support to the families,” Guzi said. “It was important to her that this visit wasn’t a ‘head of state’ visit. The whole focus was on the family members and first responders. She spent quite a bit of time talking with families.
“She spent time with the young people whose parents had been lost and a lot of time speaking with first responders and just really showing appreciation for what they do every single day. “
Guzi explained to Fox News Digital that Queen Elizabeth’s “ability to connect” with people was “enormous” and she was “very down to earth” with everyone she met.
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“The human being she was, was a very loving, caring, inquisitive, bright, funny person,” Guzi said. “She didn’t take herself seriously, but she took her job seriously. The most important connection was with real people, not world leaders, and her ability to connect was incredible.”
In 2001, the day after the terrorist attack, Queen Elizabeth broke tradition by modifying the changing of the guard ceremony to include the playing of the “The Star-Spangled Banner” in front of a crowd of about 3,000 outside Buckingham Palace.
Queen Elizabeth bucked tradition for a second time by joining in on the singing and could be seen wiping away a tear during the emotional service.
Ten days after the attack, Queen Elizabeth again brought attention to the victims of 9/11 by mentioning them in remarks that were read aloud at a New York City church service.
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“These are dark and harrowing times for families and friends of those who are missing or who suffered in the attack — many of you here today,” the queen said in remarks delivered by the British ambassador to Washington, Sir Christopher Meyer, at a prayer service at St. Thomas Church in New York City Sept. 21, 2001.
“My thoughts and my prayers are with you all now and in the difficult days ahead. But nothing that can be said can begin to take away the anguish and the pain of these moments. Grief is the price we pay for love.”
During her Christmas address in December of that same year, Queen Elizabeth mentioned 9/11 victims once again.
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“The terrorist outrages in the United States last September brought home to us the pain and grief of ordinary people the world over who find themselves innocently caught up in such evil,” she said.
In 2021, Queen Elizabeth once again played the national anthem of the United States at Windsor Castle on the 20th anniversary of the attack and issued a message of support to President Biden.
“As we mark the 20th anniversary of the terrible attacks on 11th September 2001, my thoughts and prayers — and those of my family and the entire nation — remain with the victims, survivors and families affected, as well as the first responders and rescue workers called to duty on that day,” Queen Elizabeth wrote.
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“My visit to the site of the World Trade Centre in 2010 is held fast in my memory. It reminds me that as we honour those from many nations, faiths and backgrounds who lost their lives, we also pay tribute to the resilience and determination of the communities who joined together to rebuild.”