Maundy Thursday sees the traditional Royal Maundy service take place, attended by The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh. Today, the service was held at Leicester Cathedral, where Her Majesty gave out Maundy Money to 182 local men and women.
The service marks the day of the Last Supper of Jesus and his disciples, the day before he was crucified.
The Queen handed out 182 red and white purses, one of each to each of the recipients, 91 men and 91 women. 91 represents the age of the Monarch, and people are chosen for their work in and contribution to the community.
The red purse contained a £5 coin, commemorating 100 years of the House of Windsor, and a 50p coin commemorating Sir Isaac Newton, while the white once held 91p made of uniquely minted Maundy coins.
Ted Cassidy was one of the people to receive Maundy Money. He said: “It’s been such a wonderful occasion – she’s amazing because she smiled at every single person and then spoke to the children at the end.
“I thought ‘She’s just incredible, a wonderful woman’. I got a surprise letter four months ago and I couldn’t believe it, it was such a wonderful surprise.”
So the locals could enjoy having The Queen in the area, a big screen played a video stream of the service in the city centre.
The service included Handel’s Zadok The Priest and a rendition of God Save The Queen to end. The Monarch then received a nosegay – a small fragrant posey of flowers – as is tradition. Learn more about the history and traditions of the service here.
Following today’s service, Her Majesty has now conducted the Maundy service in every Anglican cathedral in England – all 40 of them. Last year it took place at St George’s Chapel in Windsor.
The Royal guests ended the visit with lunch at St Martin’s House. Diners included local heroes, dignitaries and honorary freeman of the city Engelbert Humperdinck, invited by the Bishop of Leicester.