Remembrance Sunday at Cenotaph to be closed to public for first time in 100 years

PEOPLE have been urged to stay away from this year's Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph for the first time in 100 years over Covid fears.

Numbers will be limited, with veterans, members of the royal family, and international leaders among those allowed to attend.

It's the first time in the Cenotaph's 100-year history that the 11am service to honour Britain's war dead will be closed to the public.

The annual march past the memorial won't take place either.

It comes as it was announced London will be placed into Tier 2 lockdown from midnight tomorrow as coronavirus cases surge.

Last year, The Queen, 94, was seen wiping away a tear as she watched the Remembrance Sunday service.


Prince Charles, 71, Prince William, 38, and Prince Harry, 36, were among the royals who lay wreaths at the Cenotaph last November.

Meghan Markle, 39, arrived at the event with Harry as the pair put on a show of unity alongside William and Kate Middleton.

Next month's service will be made Covid-secure by slashing attendance and ensuring strict social distancing measures.

People are being urged to watch the annual event on TV.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: "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."

He added: "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."

Around 10,000 people, including Armed Forces heroes, attended last year's event in central London's Whitehall.

The Queen had vowed to return to public duty in time to lead the nation at Remembrance Day.

Her Majesty today attended her first engagement since Covid restrictions were brought in seven months ago.

This year, local Remembrance events must also comply with restrictions on the number of people allowed to meet outside.

Bob Gamble, assistant director for commemorative events for the Royal British Legion, said it was "deeply disappointing" this year's march was cancelled.

But he added: "We can all still play a part in ensuring we mark the occasion appropriately and pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of our armed forces on Remembrance Sunday.

"We are encouraging people across the country to participate in their own personal moment of remembrance, whether that be watching the service on television or pausing for the two-minute silence."

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