This year Remembrance Sunday will be commemorated in private for the first time by the British royal family. Queen Elizabeth II is expected to oversee the ceremony next month, which will be closed to the public because of the coronavirus pandemic.

This year the annual commemoration of Remembrance Sunday on Nov. 8, at the Cenotaph in London will only involve the members of the British royal family, some politicians and military leaders. This announcement was made by Department for Media, Culture and Sport on Thursday. The department also added that other people could pay their respects at home.

It is the first time there will be no public participation at the event since the beginning of commemorations during the reign of the Queen Elizabeth II's grandfather, King George V, following the end of the First World War.

In recent years, Prince Charles has laid the wreath for the queen who has watched from a balcony overlooking Whitehall. Her floral tribute is placed on behalf of the nation in remembrance of and in thanks for all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and given their lives for their country. Other members of the royal family also lay wreaths as do politicians.

The decision to close the event to the public came on the day that it was confirmed London would enter Tier 2 coronavirus pandemic restrictions, meaning that households can no longer mix indoors.

Daily Mail reports that Prince Charles, Prince William and Princess Anne will lay wreaths while the queen, Kate Middleton and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall will line up on the Foreign Office balcony.

It is highly unlikely that Prince Harry will join the royal family in the UK to lay wreaths to remember the fallen. Palace sources told the Sun as he is 'no longer a working royal' he 'cannot join his family at the Cenotaph'.

"Since Covid-19 measures first came into effect, we have instructed Royal British Legion branches that all activity undertaken by our members must be conducted in accordance with national and local government restrictions," said a spokesperson for The Royal British Legion.

Queen Elizabeth II
13 November 2016: The Queen takes part in the Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph in Westminster Toby Melville/Reuters

"We are encouraging our branches and members to continue supporting local Remembrance services and parades that follow government guidelines and only where social distancing measures can be fully adhered to," the spokesperson added.