Queen to distribute Maundy money


The Queen will mark Maundy Thursday by taking part in the ancient ceremony of distributing commemorative coins to deserving pensioners.

The presentation of the money will take place during the Royal Maundy service at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle - where Prince Harry will wed Meghan Markle on May 19.

The Queen will distribute the Maundy money to 92 men and 92 women - as she will be 92 this year - with each recipient receiving two purses, one red and one white.

Maundy Thursday is the Christian holy day falling on the Thursday before Easter and commemorates the Maundy and Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles.

Every year the Queen marks Maundy by offering alms to senior citizens - retired pensioners recommended by clergy and ministers of all denominations - in recognition of service to the Church and to the local Community.

This year, the red purse contains a £5 coin, commemorating four generations of royalty, and a 50p coin commemorating the Representation of the People Act 1918, which reformed the electoral system in Great Britain and Ireland, giving some women the right to vote for the first time. Both coins have been minted in 2018.

Historically, this 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 which, before Tudor times, used to be divided between the recipients.

The White Purse contains uniquely minted Maundy money - one, two, three and four silver penny pieces - to the value of 92p.

The Royal Maundy is an ancient ceremony which originated in the commandment Christ gave after washing the feet of his disciples the day before Good Friday.