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The Queen & Prince Philip attend Royal Maundy service at Sheffield Cathedral

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh attended the Royal Maundy Service at Sheffield Cathedral on Thursday.

Her Majesty and Prince Philip arrived at the Great Door of Sheffield Cathedral and met by the Dean of Sheffield, The Very Reverend Peter Bradley and the Bishop of Sheffield, The Right Reverend Steven Croft.

A nosegay was given to the Queen at the beginning of the service before Her Majesty distributed the Maundy Money.

After Thursday’s service, Her Majesty and Prince Philip signed the visitors’ book before moving on to the Great Entrance for the official photograph.

After the service and photograph at Sheffield Cathedral, The Queen and Prince Philip attended a luncheon at Sheffield Town Hall.

This year the Red Purse contains a £5 coin, observing the fiftieth anniversary of the death of the Rt. Hon. Sir Winston Churchill, K.G., and a 50p coin honouring the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, both coins minted in 2015.

Traditionally, this amount 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.

The White Purse contains distinctively minted Maundy Money containing one, two, three and four silver penny pieces, the sum of which equals the number of years of the Monarch’s age. This year 89 pennies of silver coins will be distributed.

Recipients of Royal Maundy are chosen based on The Queen’s age. This year 89 elderly men and women are chosen for the Christian service they devoted to the Church and community.

The custom of taking part in Maundy ceremonies involving the Royal Family dates back to the thirteenth century.

Henry IV began the ritual of associating the amount of recipients of gifts to the sovereign’s age. It developed into the custom of the sovereign to perform the service. Hence, the event became known as the Royal Maundy.

In the eighteenth century, the act of washing the feet of the poor stopped and in the nineteenth-century money allowances substituted for the various gifts of food and clothing.

Maundy money started during the reign of Charles II with the issue of undated hammered coins in 1662. The coins were a four, three, two and one penny pieces. It was not until 1670 that a dated set of all four coins emerged. Previously, the common currency was used for Maundy gifts with silver pennies being used by the Tudors and Stuarts for the ceremony.

Royal Maundy is the only instance where Her Majesty visits others to make awards.

It is the first time in over 900 years a State Occasion has taken place in South Yorkshire.

It is especially significant for Sheffield Cathedral and the Diocese of Sheffield, as they are commemorating the centenary of becoming a Cathedral and a Diocese.

Featured photo credit: Birmingham News Room

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