UK

Maundy Thursday: Queen hands out 90th birthday coins

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at St George's Chapel Windsor Castle Image copyright Andrew Matthews
Image caption The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle for the Royal Maundy service

The Queen has handed out commemorative Maundy coins in a traditional royal service at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Ninety men and 90 women, representing her 90 years, were presented with the coins in recognition of service to the Church and community.

The Queen was accompanied by the the Duke of Edinburgh.

It is the first time the service has been held at St George's Chapel since 1959.

Each recipient received two purses, one red and one white. 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.

Image copyright Royal Mint
Image caption The white purse contains one, two, three and four silver penny pieces, which add up to the Queen's age

Royal Maundy can be traced back in England to the 13th Century. The service derives its name from the Latin "mandatum", Jesus Christ's commandment to his disciples to "love one another", after he had washed their feet on the day before Good Friday.

Image copyright FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA
Image caption Maundy Thursday is part of the Christian celebration of Easter and commemorates the night of the Last Supper as told in the Bible

This year the Queen gave coins, which are known as Maundy money, to 180 deserving senior citizens who have been recommended in recognition of their service to the Church and community.

They are traditionally selected from a single diocese but this year have been chosen from across the country.

Image copyright Anthony Harvey
Image caption It is the first time the service has been held at St George's Chapel since 1959
Image copyright Anthony Harvey
Image caption The Queen was smiling broadly as she gave out the red and white purses containing Maundy money

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