Royals will lay wreaths at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday but soldiers won’t march past as public is banned from event on monument’s 100th anniversary due to coronavirus
- Wellwishers have been told to stay at home to watch ceremony on television
- The Queen and other Royals will be there as will some members of armed forces
- This year is the 100th anniversary of the Cenotaph being built back in 1920
Members of the Royal Family and dignitaries will be allowed at Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph – but the famous military march past has been axed alongside the public attending over coronavirus fears.
Crowds will not be allowed to go to the service on November 8 and instead will be asked to mark the day at home.
Members of the Royal Family and dignitaries will still attend to lay wreaths to remember the fallen.
But the legion’s previously hopes to still be able to hold the service with the march, but with additional measures, have been dashed.
The Queen, seen wiping her eye at the service in London last year, will be able to attend
The Royal British Legion’s march will also no longer be able to take place at the monument
Scenes last year saw the streets packed with people remembering the fallen
The Cenotaph was guarded by police in June earlier this year and is celebrating 100 years
It had previously said: ‘To ensure the safety of all those who are participating and to comply with social distancing measures as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the overall number of people taking part in the March Past the Cenotaph 2020 will be considerably lower than in previous years.
‘The well-being of those who choose to attend the March Past is our priority, and we have been working with the Government and relevant Associations to ensure the march is able to go ahead safely and that, in the centenary year of the Cenotaph, as many members of the Armed Forces community as possible are represented.’
Some veterans will be invited to attend the service, which will be made Covid-secure.
Political leaders including Boris Johnson and then Labour No 1 Jeremy Corbyn in 2019
Leaders shown laying wreaths at the service held in Whitehall, London, in previous years
A century of Cenotaph
The Cenotaph was designed by Sir Edward Lutyens and this year is the 100th birthday of the monument.
It replaced an earlier wood-and-plaster structure that had been out up at the end of WWI.
It is the site of the annual National Service of Rembrance, held at 11am on the nearest Sunday to November 11.
It usually sees thousands of members of the public mass in London to pay their respects to heroes felled defending freedom.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: ‘This Remembrance Sunday has a particular significance as it marks one hundred years since the Cenotaph was installed.
‘Whilst we will mark this occasion properly, it is with a heavy heart that I must ask people not to attend the ceremony at the Cenotaph this year in order to keep veterans and the public safe.
‘We will ensure our plans for the day are a fitting tribute to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and that our veterans are at the heart of the service – with the nation able to watch safely from home.’
The Queen is said to have been determined to be at the service and said she would return ‘come hell or high water’.
During the pandemic she had been unable to take part in events such as Trooping the Colour, and Maundy Thursday, along with Palace garden parties.
She continued to hold weekly calls with the Prime Minister, and did hold a socially-distance birthday party.
Her Majesty also stepped out to give NHS fundraising hero Captain Tom Moore a knighthood, and to attend Princess Beatrice’s wedding.