Wednesday, 25 Nov 2020

Royals and veterans 'not allowed' to sing national anthem on Armistice Day

Coronavirus rules mean guests at Westminster Abbey’s Armistice Day service won’t be allowed to sing the national anthem, it’s been reported. 

Members of the Royal family, Government and armed forces are being prevented from joining in with the choir at a special abbey service, according to the Daily Mail. 

Every year a funeral of the unknown warrior is held at the abbey on November 11 and this year marks 100 years since the first took place in London. 

Because of the pandemic only invited VIPs will attend in person, while the service is also being shown live on BBC1.

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Special rules in place mean even the Royals present won’t be able to sing God Save the Queen or any of the hymns. 

Singing has been linked with increased risk of transmission of Covid-19 because of the amount of droplets expelled.

An abbey spokesman told the Daily Mail only the choir, which will be socially distanced, is being allowed to sing during the service. has contacted Westminster Abbey for further comment. 

‘Communal singing’ is being banned at remembrance services across the country although an exception has been made for the most high profile Remembrance Sunday event at the Cenotaph in London. 

This is usually attended by the Queen, Prince Charles, the Prime Minister and leader of the opposition. 

This year also marks 100 years since the Cenotaph was first unveiled on Whitehall but the event is taking place under tight Covid restrictions to keep people safe. 

Only 30 veterans are permitted to attend and police are reportedly planning to set up screens at either end of the road to deter passers-by from stopping to see what’s going on. 

Public Health England had advised singing be banned at this major commemoration as well but this has apparently been overruled by the Government.

The pandemic has seriously disrupted remembrance events this year. In Scotland the Government has ordered ceremonies at local war memorials not to take place. 

Singing will not be allowed at all smaller ceremonies which are going ahead in England although it’s unclear if more exemptions will be made, following the Cenotaph decision. 

Vivien Foster, president of the Merchant Navy Association, criticised the Government’s handling of the arrangements. She told the Daily Mail: ’The whole situation is farcical.’

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