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Charles gives out Maundy money in absence of Queen

The Prince of Wales represented his mother at the ancient ritual for the first time.

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The Prince of Wales, representing the Queen, and the Duchess of Cornwall pose for a photograph with members of the Queen’s Body Guard of the Yeomen of the Guard, following the Royal Maundy Service at St George’s Chapel, Windsor. Picture date: Thursday April 14, 2022.

The Prince of Wales, representing the Queen, and the Duchess of Cornwall pose for a photograph with members of the Queen’s Body Guard of the Yeomen of the Guard, following the Royal Maundy Service at St George’s Chapel, Windsor. Picture date: Thursday April 14, 2022.

The Prince of Wales, representing the Queen, and the Duchess of Cornwall pose for a photograph with members of the Queen’s Body Guard of the Yeomen of the Guard, following the Royal Maundy Service at St George’s Chapel, Windsor. Picture date: Thursday April 14, 2022.

The Prince of Wales distributed Maundy money to community stalwarts from across the country as he represented the Queen at the ancient ritual for the first time.

Charles followed the tradition of presenting Maundy coins to those who have provided Christian service to the elderly, worked tirelessly during the pandemic or been a comfort to those in need, during the service at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

The Queen, who has been experiencing mobility issues, was missing. Buckingham Palace announced on Friday she would not attend and be represented by the prince and Duchess of Cornwall.

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The 95-year-old monarch has been carrying out virtual events (Buckingham Palace/PA)

The 95-year-old monarch has been carrying out virtual events (Buckingham Palace/PA)

PA

The 95-year-old monarch has been carrying out virtual events (Buckingham Palace/PA)

The Bishop of Worcester, Dr John Inge, speaking in his role as Lord High Almoner, said the Queen had a copy of the order of service and a list of Maundy money recipients and details about them.

He told the congregation before the service began: “She’s close by and would want me to extend to you her greetings.”

The Queen is expected to miss another traditional event of the Easter period, the Sunday service attended by the royal family this weekend.

It is a staple in the royal calendar but the monarch will not be joining other members of the monarchy at St George’s Chapel.

During the service, Charles handed out the Maundy coins to 96 men and 96 women – as the Queen will be 96 this year, celebrating her birthday on April 21.

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The service took place at St George’s Chapel (Yui Mok/PA)

The service took place at St George’s Chapel (Yui Mok/PA)

PA

The service took place at St George’s Chapel (Yui Mok/PA)

The heir to the throne walked along the lines of recipients saying a few words of thanks to each one and clasping their hand with both of his.

Muriel Davies, 99, who served in the Women’s Land Army during the Second World War, was recognised for her 50 years of fundraising for the RNLI in her home town of Bolton.

She said after the service: “It was lovely meeting Prince Charles, he said ‘it’s your birthday, I wish you a happy birthday for July – it’s lovely that you’re here today’.”

Mrs Davies will celebrate her 100th birthday on July 9 and, when asked if she missed the Queen, she joked about Charles deputising, saying: “I was glad to see anybody”

The 99-year-old said she was “honoured” to receive Maundy money and, speaking about her efforts collecting for the RNLI, she said charity boxes were left in pubs and clubs in Bolton, and quipped: “They fill them up and I empty them.”

Commenting on the importance of fundraising for the RNLI, she added: “Because it’s a good charity and water’s so dangerous, I know that fire is as well, but water is very dangerous – saving lives at sea is worth helping.”

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The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were presented with nosegays when they first arrived at St George’s Chapel (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA)

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were presented with nosegays when they first arrived at St George’s Chapel (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA)

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The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were presented with nosegays when they first arrived at St George’s Chapel (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA)

Each of the elderly recipients received two purses, one red and one white.

The white purse is filled with uniquely minted Maundy money – silver 10p and 3p pieces – to the value of 96 pence.

In the red pouch is a £5 coin and a 50p coin portraying the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Both coins have been newly minted this year.

Charles presented Maundy money to William Sanderson, aged 101, who after joining a missionary fellowship has spent more than 70 years either working or supporting in his retirement the distribution of bibles and Christian books around the world.

Born in Scotland but now living in Alresford in Hampshire, the 101-year-old, who served as an RAF mechanic during the Second World War, said he was “just from an ordinary working class background” and to receive the coins from Charles was “overwhelming”.

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Charles presents Maundy money to 101-year-old William Sanderson (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA)

Charles presents Maundy money to 101-year-old William Sanderson (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA)

PA

Charles presents Maundy money to 101-year-old William Sanderson (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA)

“It’s something I could never have believed possible, I couldn’t even have hoped for. To be in the presence of royalty here in Windsor is just overwhelming.

“I’m not usually speechless, but I’m really lost for words now.”

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.

Following tradition, Charles and Camilla were presented with nosegays – sweet-smelling bouquets – which in centuries past were used to ward off unpleasant smells, and before leaving posed for a picture with the clergy and ceremonial units that took part.

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