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The Queen to dine with Engelbert Humperdinck in Leicester following Royal Maundy service

The Queen is to have lunch with Engelbert Humperdinck on Thursday when she visits the city of Leicester for the Royal Maundy service.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will attend the traditional church service in Leicester Cathedral before going into St Martin’s House for lunch which is only a few metres away from the Cathedral.

Speaking to the Leicester Mercury, Mr Humperdinck said: “The excitement for the Royal visit has been building for weeks. What a wonderful moment in time to welcome Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip to our city.

“I’m thrilled to be able to share the viewing of the Maundy Thursday service.

“The route being taken will put a regal touch on all of our collective memories of our beloved city.

“I used to meet my wife under the clock tower 60 years ago and now I can add Her Majesty to the retelling of my story in the future.”

The 80-year-old singer has met Her Majesty on a number of occasions.

He said: “The last time I had the honour of being in the presence of Queen Elizabeth was at Buckingham Palace.

“It was a little like a fairy tale but at the moment of acknowledgement, I said, ‘Your Majesty….Engelbert Humperdinck’ and bowed as deeply and respectfully as possible.

“Nothing was captured on film but it will forever play in my own history book.”

The maundy service is a traditional service which is held each year in different cathedrals across the country.

Maundy money is given out by The Queen to pensioners which is largely symbolic rather than carrying any large monetary value. The tradition of the Sovereign giving money to the poor dates from the thirteenth century – formerly, the Sovereign used to give food and clothing and even washed the recipients’ feet. The official royal website says the last monarch to do this was James II.

Nowadays, the occasion is marked with a church service during which The Queen hands out the maundy money to carefully selected local pensioners.

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