Rather than simply being a show piece, the two-door auto that transported Aretha's body was also the same vehicle used in the funeral of her late father Rev. C.L. Franklin.
Franklin, who died at her Detroit home from pancreatic cancer, began her musical career as a child singing gospel at the city's New Bethel Baptist Church, where her father, CL Franklin, was the pastor, famous for his hypnotic sermons.
Franklin's body arrived, in a 1940 Cadillac LaSalle hearse, more than two hours before the service was scheduled to start. Since Franklin's death, Owens said a close group she described as "Aretha's angels" have "worked tirelessly" and have been guided by a single question: "What would Aretha want?"
"I love her and I respect who she was and who she is and all of those kinds of things", Knight added. She wore a shimmering gold dress, with sequined heels - the fourth outfit Franklin was clothed in during a week of events leading up to her funeral.
The Band of the Welsh Guards, dressed in bright scarlet tunics and tall bearskin hats, belted out an upbeat, brassy rendition of Franklin's 1967 hit in the courtyard of the palace, before the usual August throng of tourists. "We're Aretha groupies. She had the voice of a generation, maybe the voice of a century".
Among the singers and speakers, former United States president Bill Clinton, 72, took to the stage and paid tribute to Aretha in a moving speech.
Bill Clinton on Aretha Franklin: "She lived with courage". He said they "talked all the time", the last just a couple weeks before she became too ill to speak. The "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" singer told local station WDIV that she and Franklin "had the same disease", but according to her rep, that's not the case. The Lord tells us where we are going and tells us when we are coming.
The mayor said: "When Aretha Franklin sang, it sounded like the voice of Detroit".
Owens said Franklin loved fiercely and was the family's matriarch. "Girl, I got to give you all your respect".