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Royal News

King Charles renews Coronation pledge to serve in heartfelt Easter message

The King has renewed his Coronation promise to serve in a heartfelt Easter message heard at the Maundy service.

His Majesty had to miss the ceremony, as he continues to confine himself to private duties within palace walls as he is treated for cancer. But he sent a very personal message to mark the event which saw Queen Camilla distribute Maundy money on his behalf.

Speaking from Buckingham Palace, in a recorded message, The King highlighted the important of friendship, especially in a time of need. And he praised the recipients of this year’s Maundy money for their lifetimes of service to people in their local communities.

The King also reflected on his sadness at not being able to take part in the Maundy Service which is one of the oldest traditions in the country, tracing its origins back centuries. But he ended by making his pledge once more, ”‘not to be served but to serve’. His Majesty said ”that I have always tried to do and continue to do, with my whole heart.”

The King’s full message is below:

”Ladies and Gentlemen, it is, for me, a great sadness that I cannot be with you all today. The Maundy Service has a very special place in my heart. It has its origin in the life of Our Lord who knelt before his disciples and, to their great surprise, washed their travel-weary feet. And, as we have just heard, in doing so he deliberately gave to them and to us all an example of how we should serve and care for each other.

In this country we are blessed by all the different services that exist for our welfare. But over and above these organizations and their selfless staff, we need and benefit greatly from those who extend the hand of friendship to us, especially in a time of need.

The 150 men and women who have been chosen today to receive the Maundy Money from my wife are wonderful examples of such kindness; of going way beyond the call of duty and of giving so much of their lives to the service of others in their communities.

This act of worship, here in Worcester Cathedral, reminds me of the pledge I made at the beginning of the Coronation Service – to follow Christ’s example ‘not to be served but to serve’. That I have always tried to do and continue to do, with my whole heart.

It is my special prayer today that Our Lord’s example of serving one another might continue to inspire us and to strengthen all our communities.

May God bless you all this Easter.”

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Jubilee and Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton who is a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. Her latest book, A History of British Royal Jubilees, is out now. Her new book, The Mysterious Death of Katherine Parr, will be published in March 2024. June is an award winning reporter, producer and editor. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.