Buckingham Palace has announced that the Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph will be shorter this year. The ceremony will be changed slightly to limit the amount of time that The Queen and the veterans who take part have to stand.
Many veterans, some now in their nineties, wait for hours to be in place for the service and following the Act of Remembrance they take part in the march past the Cenotaph to lay their wreaths and remember lost comrades. The official announcement said that the small changes to the ceremony had been made out of respect for the veterans.
The Queen leads the annual service, laying a wreath on behalf of the nation to remember all those who have died in armed conflict. Members of the Royal Family, usually including the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge then lay their own wreaths in turn. It is then the turn of politicians including the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the leaders of many parties to make their tributes before representatives from the Commonwealth lay their flowers.
This year, several members of the Royal Family will lay their wreaths at the same time and, while the main political leaders will walk to the steps of the Cenotaph individually some other politicians will lay their wreaths together. The Commonwealth representatives traditionally place their wreaths in groups.
It is hoped that the small changes will make the service slightly shorter while retaining its character. The ceremony starts just before 11am when The Queen leads the Royal Family to the Cenotaph where they observe the two minutes’ silence. Following the sounding of the Last Post, the wreaths are laid and then there are prayers and hymns. The ceremony ends with the National Anthem and the veterans then take part in their march past.
This year, Remembrance Sunday falls on November 8th.