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Why the Queen stood apart from Kate Middleton and Duchess Camilla on Remembrance Sunday

The royal family attended the annual service in London

Danielle Stacey

The Queen was joined by members of the royal family at the Remembrance Sunday service on 8 November, but this year things looked a little different.

Usually the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge stand alongside the Queen to watch proceedings from the balconies of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, but this year, they stood separate from one another. Her Majesty stood with her lady-in-waiting, Mrs Susan Rhodes, while Camilla and Kate shared a balcony, but were two metres apart. 

Amid the coronavirus pandemic and England's second lockdown, the royals followed the government's rules on social distancing. 

READ: The royal family reunite for moving Remembrance Sunday service

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WATCH: The Queen, Kate and Camilla stand apart on Remembrance Sunday

The 94-year-old monarch travelled to the Remembrance Sunday service from Windsor Castle, where she is residing during England's second lockdown with the Duke of Edinburgh.

While Prince Charles laid a wreath on the Queen's behalf, an equerry placed one on behalf of Prince Philip, who retired from public duties in 2017.

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The Queen stood on a separate balcony from members of her family

At the 2019 Remembrance Sunday service, some questioned why the Duchess of Sussex was not standing alongside the Queen, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge.

The reason was simply because the royals are grouped together in order of precedence. The Queen was accompanied by Prince Charles' wife Camilla and Kate on one balcony; in previous years, Prince Philip has joined the event, but in his absence, Kate took his place, just as she did in 2018.

MORE: Why the Queen and Kate Middleton wear multiple poppies on Remembrance Sunday

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Meghan stood on the same balcony as Sophie and Sir Timothy Laurence in 2019

Meghan, who in 2018 stood next to Elke Büdenbender, the wife of Germany's President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, was joined by the Countess of Wessex and Princess Anne's husband Sir Timothy Laurence on one balcony last year.

The balconies of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office building are also much smaller than, for example, Buckingham Palace, when all of the royal family have enough space to stand together on one balcony at events including Trooping the Colour.

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