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Remembrance Sunday: Scaled-back service

UK's Remembrance Sunday, with various members of the Royal Family in attendance, will see scaled-back service

By Shain ThomasPublished 4 years ago 3 min read
Her Majesty the Queen steps back to pay her respects after laying a wreath at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, during the 2010 Remembrance Sunday service. 2010 marked the 90th anniversary of both the Cenotaph and the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, who was interred in Westminster Abbey.

United Kingdom: People across the British Isles, because of Coronavirus pandemic precautions, will see a scaled back Remembrance Sunday.

Remembrance Sunday, observed on the second Sunday in November, commemorates the contribution of British and Commonwealth military in the two World Wars and later conflicts. It also recognises the immense contribution from many civilian servicemen and women.

"We come together every November to commemorate the servicemen and women from Britain and the Commonwealth who sacrificed their lives for our freedom,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

“In this time of adversity, no virus can stop us from honouring their memory, particularly when we have just celebrated the 75th anniversary of victory in the Second World War."

The National Service of Remembrance, held annually at London’s Cenotaph, will be attended by various members of the Royal Family, governmental officials, and ranking members of the armed forces.

Queen Elizabeth II; Charles, Prince of Wales; Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge; and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge are expected to attend.

Beginning at 11:00 (GMT), an annual tradition, the two-minute silence is observed across the British Isles.

The Royal British Legion and the Legion: Scotland, recognising the importance of keeping people safe in these trying times, have proposed people observe the two-minute silence from their front doorsteps.

"While this years’ service is a little different to normal,” Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said, “I want to encourage everyone to get involved from their own homes - watch on your TV, research your family history - but most importantly, keep safe."

Typically, something that is frequently seen, approximately 10,000 people gather at the Cenotaph each year. Obviously, recognising England is in a month-long lockdown until at least Wednesday, 2 December 2020, previsions for the event are in hand.

Downing Street has made it clear, despite the national lockdown in England, Remembrance Sunday events can go ahead. The only requirement, in addition to the events being held outdoors, relates to social distancing. It must be observed.

"In these difficult times whenever we are in need of inspiration we can always look with pride,” Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said in a video message, “not only to our wartime generations or those who are currently serving our nation at home and abroad, but to all our servicemen and women who throughout this pandemic have stood side-by-side with our key workers in the battle against this virus."

The Prince of Wales, speaking at the annual Festival of Remembrance, referenced a degree of "anxiety and grief not previously experienced in peacetime."

Filmed without an audience, currently available via the BBC iPlayer, the Festival of Remembrance was held at London's Royal Albert Hall.

"In this challenging year, we have perhaps come to realise that the freedoms for which they fought are more precious than we knew,” Prince Charles said, “and that the debt we owe them is even greater than we imagined."

Queen Elizabeth II, this past Wednesday, commemorated the 100th anniversary of the grave of the Unknown Warrior. The grave, representing many First World War soldiers whose place of death remains unknown, is located at London’s Westminster Abbey. An unidentified British soldier, killed on a French battlefield during the First World War, was buried on Thursday, 11 November 1920.

The 94-year-old monarch, seen wearing a facemask for the first time in public, made a private pilgrimage to the grave of the Unknown Warrior. The last time the Queen was seen in public, not wearing a facemask on that occasion, she was visiting Wiltshire’s Porton Down. Porton Down, a science park, is home to two British government facilities.

Armistice Day, Wednesday, 11 November 2020, will see the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall attending the annual Westminster Abbey service.

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About the Creator

Shain Thomas

I'm a freelance journalist. A member of both the NLGJA and SPJ, I currently write articles for Harsh Light News on Medium and HVY.Com. When I was a university student, I wrote articles for the NT Daily and TCU 360.

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    Shain ThomasWritten by Shain Thomas

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