Alex Salmond
Former First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond laying a wreath at the Cenotaph Memorial in 2014 Getty

A move to shorten the traditional Cenotaph service on Remembrance Sunday has proved controversial. Buckingham Palace has agreed with the UK government to cut the time for the 8 November ceremony to help ageing veterans and elderly members of the royal family.

The move will mean that the Queen, 89, and the Duke of Edinburgh, 94, have to stand for a shorter time as they commemorate British armed forces personnel killed in World War One and later conflicts.

"The format for this year's Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph on November 8 has been reviewed," a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman confirmed to IBTimes UK.

"Consideration was given to whether the service format might allow the march-past of veterans to start earlier. A number of veterans wait some time for the parade to move off, and then have a lengthy march to .

"This year, in order to allow the parade to get under way earlier, some members of the royal family and political figures will lay their wreaths simultaneously. These changes will be put in place by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport following discussion with the royal household."

The decision has ruffled some political feathers because opposition leaders, including the heads of Labour, the SNP, Liberal Democrats and DUP, will have to lay their wreathes under the Cenotaph memorial at the same time. David Cameron, however, will be able to pay his respects by himself.

Alex Salmond, the former first minister of Scotland and SNP MP, issued a warning to Number 10 about the decision. "The Remembrance Day service has been supported on an all-party basis since just after the First World War," he told The Times.

"I would advise the government and everyone else connected that it is not in anyone's interest to tamper with it. It is the ceremony with the utmost solemnity and dignity. People thinking about this should also remember it is about service personnel and the families of the fallen, and keep that uppermost in mind."