The Queen appeared to break tradition by standing on a different balcony from the royal family at the Remembrance service

PETER NICHOLLS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images, Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesThe Queen did not stand on the same balcony as the Duchess of Cambridge for the Remembrance service on Sunday, reportedly because of social distancing.
  • The Queen stood with her lady-in-waiting instead of Kate Middleton and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, at the royal family’s Remembrance service on Sunday.
  • It is tradition for royals to stand in order of rank. In previous years, the monarch has stood on the same balcony as Middleton and Camilla, as they are two future queen consorts.
  • But this year, social distancing meant the three royals wouldn’t have been able to share a balcony, according to The Mirror.
  • Royal Central reported that because the Queen’s lady-in-waiting had been isolating with the monarch, “it was much safer for her to accompany the Queen.”
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Social distancing may have prevented Queen Elizabeth II from following tradition at the royal family’s Remembrance service on Sunday.

Members of the royal family gathered at the Cenotaph in London to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in battle. Prince William, Prince Edward, and Princess Anne were among those who placed wreaths at the Cenotaph, while the Queen, Kate Middleton, and Camilla watched the service from the balconies at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Unlike in previous years, however, the Queen was not accompanied by a member of the family on the balcony.

Queen and lady in waitingChris Jackson/WPA Images/Getty ImagesThe Queen shared a balcony with her royal aide.

The 94-year-old monarch stood with her lady-in-waiting, Susan Rhodes, while the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Cornwall stood together — albeit at a distance — on a separate balcony.

Royal family remembranceMax Mumby/Indigo/Getty ImagesKate Middleton, Camilla, the Queen, and the Queen’s lady-in-waiting watched the ceremony from two balconies.

It is royal tradition for members of the family to stand in order of rank at the event. Last year, the Queen stood on the same balcony as Camilla and Middleton, as they are two future queen consorts — their husbands, Prince Charles and Prince William, are closest in rank to the Queen, at first and second in line to the throne. Meghan Markle stood on a separate balcony with Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and Tim Laurence.

The Queen also stood with Middleton and Camilla in 2018, and in 2017 she was accompanied by her husband, Prince Philip.

The Mirror reported that things were different this year because of social distancing: There would have not been enough space for the Queen, Camilla, and Middleton to share a balcony at a safe distance.

Royal Central’s Charlie Proctor reported that the Queen’s lady-in-waiting was chosen over a royal because she was isolating with the Queen.

“Mrs. Rhodes, who is believed to have formed part of ‘HMS Bubble,’ accompanied Her Majesty on the balcony,” Proctor reported. “As Mrs. Rhodes has been isolating with the 94-year-old monarch, it was much safer for her to accompany the Queen as opposed to somebody who lives in a different household.”

Reports earlier this year said the Queen’s inner circle had formed a “bubble,” self-isolating for two weeks before joining her at her holiday home, Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

It’s unclear how many staff members have chosen to isolate with the monarch. The Sun reported in October that about 20 staff members — including cleaning, laundry, and maintenance employees — were in conflict with the palace over a request to self-isolate at the royal household over Christmas because it meant they wouldn’t be able to spend it with their families.

Buckingham Palace did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment for this article.

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