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The royal couple were due to attend the ceremony in London. But they did not make an appearance “on medical advice”, said a royal source who did not give further details.
The Queen, 94, was joined by other members of the Royal Family in commemorating the nation’s war dead at the service.
Prince Charles laid a wreath on the monarch’s behalf as she watched from a balcony at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office building.
The Queen’s message on her wreath said: “In memory of the glorious dead.“
The head of state wore a black hat and coat, complete with five poppies.
She was joined on the balcony by Lady-in-Waiting Susan Rhodes.
Prince William, Princess Anne and Prince Edward also laid wreaths at the ceremony.
Kate and Camilla looked on from another balcony of the government building.
The Countess of Wessex and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence were on a third balcony.
Prince Andrew did not attend the service after stepping back from royal duties following his disastrous Newsnight interview about his friendship with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Meanwhile in the US, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry marked the day by privately visiting the Los Angeles National Cemetery.
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who quit as working royals earlier this year, wanted “to be able to personally recognise Remembrance in their own way”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and former prime ministers Sir John Major, Tony Blair, David Cameron and Theresa May attended the ceremony at the Cenotaph.
Whitehall is usually packed but this year was very different due to the coronavirus pandemic as the public were asked not to attend.
People were instead encouraged to take part in the two-minute silence at 11am at home.
Less than 30 veterans attended the scaled-down event, which was held outdoors with guests following social distancing.
General Sir Nick Carter, Chief of the Defence Staff, said some veterans might find Remembrance Sunday a lonely experience this year due to coronavirus restrictions.
Sir Nick told the BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show the rules would be “particularly tough on our veterans”, adding: “They traditionally have had the opportunity to get together and talk about their memories and their reflections, but equally to strut their stuff.”
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