The Queen handed out Maundy Money at the traditional service on Maundy Thursday today.
At St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, Her Majesty was joined by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh for the service to commemorate the Last Supper of Jesus and his Disciples.
The service moves each year to a different place, but before, it was traditionally a London service; last year it took place at Blackburn Cathedral.
Each year at Easter, Maundy Money – specially created sterling silver coins – are given to local pensioners of a diocese for their service to the local community and their church. Usually, the number is related to the Sovereign’s age. 90 men and 90 women received the money, but were selected from all over the country for The Queen’s 90th birthday, not just the diocese.
Recipients get a red and a white purse contianing the coins, which change each year. This year the red purse contained a £5 coin, commemorating the Queen’s 90th birthday, and a 50p coin commemorating the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.
The sum of £5.50 in the red purse is made up of £3 for clothing, £1.50 in lieu of provisions and £1 for the redemption of the Sovereign’s gown.
Purses were handed out by Her Majesty during a procession of the Chapel as the choir sang. The Queen spent a few seconds talking to each recipient, and some could be seen wiping away tears after the a royal encounter.
The Queen distributes the traditional Maundy money to 90 men and 90 women – one for each of The Queen's 90 years pic.twitter.com/d6yRr2A3RY
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) March 24, 2016
Yeomen of the Guard – different to the warders at the Tower of London – carry the purses on trays behind Her Majesty.
It is the first time the service has been held at St George’s Chapel since 1959.
This is a tradition dating back to the 13th century, when the Monarch gave money to paupers. The Sovereign also used to give food and clothing, and even washed the recipients’ feet, but the last to do so was James II in the late 17th century.