The Queen will not attend Cenotaph Remembrance Sunday service at Whitehall - here's why

The Queen is no longer attending the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph.

The 95-year-old monarch has been under doctors’ orders to rest for almost a month and spent a night in hospital on October 20 undergoing preliminary tests.

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Buckingham Palace has confirmed this morning that the monarch will not be in attendance at the service in Whitehall after spraining her back.

'Great regret'

The Palace said she made the decision on Sunday morning “with great regret” and is “disappointed” to miss the event.

It is understood the Queen’s back sprain is unrelated to her doctor’s recent advice to rest.

Buckingham Palace said: “The Queen, having sprained her back, has decided this morning with great regret that she will not be able to attend today’s Remembrance Sunday Service at the Cenotaph.

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“Her Majesty is disappointed that she will miss the service.

“As in previous years, a wreath will be laid on Her Majesty’s behalf by the Prince of Wales.

“His Royal Highness, along with the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra will be present at the Cenotaph today as planned.”

'Sacred ceremony'

The event will be given added poignancy by a return to pre-pandemic numbers of participating veterans and military, as well as onlookers.

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The Prime Minister will be among senior politicians and members of the royal family laying a wreath at the war memorial in central London for the National Service of Remembrance.

Boris Johnson said it was a moment to “come together to remember those who sacrificed everything in service of our country”.

He said: “It’s a sacred ceremony that has endured for more than a century because we know the unpayable debt we owe those brave servicemen and women.

“We know that for our tomorrow they gave their today.

“And we know that here at home and around the world, thousands of men and women in uniform still stand ready to defend our unity and our way of life, our values, and at a cost few among us would be willing to pay”.

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10,000 veterans take part in march

The Remembrance service will return to normal this year, after the pandemic limited the number of veterans and military and closed the ceremony to the public last year.

Hundreds of servicemen and women will line up around the Cenotaph, and nearly 10,000 veterans will march past the war memorial, watched by large crowds.

The Queen, who lived through the Second World War as a teenager, is head of the armed forces and attaches great importance to the poignant service and to commemorating the sacrifices made by fallen servicemen and women.

Her absence comes as she has missed several other events after being ordered to rest by royal doctors just over three weeks ago, including the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday evening.

A version of this article originally appeared on