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Ex-Army chief warns against inviting German president to Cenotaph for armistice 100th anniversary

An Ex-Army commander has warned against inviting the German president to the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday.

The Queen planned to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War alongside Frank-Walter Steinmeier in November to reflect the reconciliation between the two nations.

But Colonel Richard Kemp said the head of state should not be allowed to the attend the commemoration ‘if it upsets even a single veteran’.   

To reflect the reconciliation between the two nations, the government will issue a formal invitation to Frank-Walter Steinmeier to join the monarch at Westminster Abbey on November 11

Plans to have The Queen mark the centenary of the end of the First World War alongside German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier (right) are being debated in Downing Street

But officials fear there could be an outcry among veterans if the German head of state is invited to the Cenotaph 

But officials fear there could be an outcry among veterans if the German head of state is invited to the Cenotaph 

The former commander of British troops in Afghanistan told The Sun: ‘This requires careful consideration. The Cenotaph is a sacred place. 

‘No doubt some would be very unhappy that the Armistice Day guest of honour is a German government representative. One offended veteran is one too many on this hallowed day.’

A Number 10 official was seen carrying a memo about inviting the German as they headed into Downing Street on Friday.

Among the papers was an email that raised fears of an outcry – showing it is being seriously considered in Whitehall.

Ex-Army commander, Colonel Richard Kemp, thinks Steinmeier's invite would upset former servicemen

Ex-Army commander, Colonel Richard Kemp, thinks Steinmeier’s invite would upset former servicemen

The plan is to have Steinmeier join The Queen at the televised commemoration of 100 years since the Armistice. 

Oscar-winning movie director Danny Boyle has been called on to film the event. He says he hopes to capture the mood of the nation and ‘invite communities across the UK to come together in marking 100 years since the Armistice’.

He was asked by 14-18 Now, a five-year programme of arts projects ‘connecting people with the First World War’, to help plan the event.

Prince Harry is seen laying a wreath of flowers at the war memorial at Westminster Abbey in 2016

Prince Harry is seen laying a wreath of flowers at the war memorial at Westminster Abbey in 2016

Sources say his idea is to encourage everyone to write a name of a soldier on biodegradable paper and send it into the sea on Armistice Day to symbolise how they were sent across the Channel to end Germany’s aggression.

Yet there are apparently some misgivings about the proposal – however 14-18 Now did not respond to requests for comment, the Sunday Times reported.

Hollywood star Peter Jackson, director of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, will also be involved and has been enrolled to ‘bring to life’ the soldiers experiences.

Outside the Abbey, Oscar-winning film director Danny Boyle (pictured) hopes to capture the mood of the nation and ‘invite communities across the UK to come together in marking 100 years since the Armistice’

Outside the Abbey, Oscar-winning film director Danny Boyle (pictured) hopes to capture the mood of the nation and ‘invite communities across the UK to come together in marking 100 years since the Armistice’

He has been given access to film footage shot during the war, as well as up to 600 hours of audio interviews, by The Imperial War Museum.

The rest of the world will most likely be watching Paris in November after the French president Emmanuel Macron invited heads of more than 80 states to a peace forum.

It will be to keep the promise made a century ago: ‘Never again’. The dignitaries have been asked to come with ideas as the French president said: ‘Peace is currently losing ground every day’.

In 2014, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined the German president in Belgium while the Queen led a candle-lit vigil at Westminster Abbey.

And this year a senior royal will attend services taking place in Belfast, Cardiff and Glasgow as well as a ceremony in Paris.

A high-level Whitehall source confirmed the plans, saying: ‘There have been German representatives involved throughout the commemorations but it is fitting that the current German president should be present at the main commemoration with the Queen in November.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk