The Queen will attend the Royal Maundy Service at St George’s Chapel, Windsor
Thursday 18th April 2019
The Queen will arrive at the North Door of the Chapel and be met by the Dean of Windsor, The Right Reverend David Conner KCVO and the Lord High Almoner, the Right Reverend Dr. John Inge. The Queen will be presented with a nosegay at the start of the service, during which Her Majesty will distribute the Maundy money.
Following the service, The Queen will proceed to Galilee Porch where an official photograph will be taken of Her Majesty and the Royal Maundy party.
Maundy Thursday is the Christian holy day falling on the Thursday before Easter. It commemorates the Maundy and Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles. The Queen commemorates Maundy by offering ‘alms’ to senior citizens – retired pensioners recommended by clergy and ministers of all denominations – in recognition of their service to the church and to the local community.
The Queen is presented with a nosegay at the start of the Royal Maundy Service. During the service The Queen will distribute the Maundy money to 93 men and 93 women – one for each of The Queen’s 93 years. Each recipient receives two purses, one red and one white.
This year the Red Purse contains a £5 coin, commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria and a 50p coin portraying Sherlock Holmes. Both coins have been newly minted this year. Historically, this sum of £5.50 in the Red Purse is made up of £3 for clothing, £1.50 in lieu of provisions and £1 which represents a piece of the Sovereign’s gown which, before Tudor times, used to be divided between the Recipients.
The White Purse contains uniquely minted Maundy Money. This takes the form of one, two, three and four silver penny pieces, the sum of which equals the number of years of the Monarch’s age. This year ninety-three Maundy coins, which are legal tender, will be distributed.
Royal Maundy is one of the most ancient ceremonies retained in the Church of England.
On duty during the service is the Queen’s Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard in their full uniform. This is the oldest military body in the UK whose record dates back to 1485 and who still wear the Tudor crown ornament, which commemorates their original appointment. Also on duty will be the Military Knights of Windsor who are the oldest military establishment in the Army List, having been founded in 1348 by King Edward III.
St George’s Chapel
A tower in the Castle wall near the Chapel was formerly known as Almonry Tower, marking the historic link between the Royal Almonry and Windsor. From the 12th century the King’s Almoner and his staff were allocated quarters in this tower, and in adjacent buildings that were demolished to make way for the building of the present Chapel in the 15th century.
The Chapel of St George is part of the College of St George, which was founded in 1348, the same time as the Order of the Garter. Although the College is located within Windsor Castle, the buildings are owned and occupied by the College itself.
The Chapel is a Royal Peculiar, which means it is not subject to a Bishop or Archbishop but owes its allegiance directly to the Sovereign. The Chapel, together with the remainder of the College of St George, is governed by the Dean and Canons of Windsor, who, with their officers and staff, are independent of the Royal Household. St George’s Chapel remains an active centre for worship, with daily services open to all.
The Chapel has strong links with the Royal Family. Each year on Garter Day, The Queen presides over the service of thanksgiving for the Order of the Garter at St George’s Chapel. The Queen and other Members of the Royal Family also attend matins in the Chapel on Easter Sunday.
Many Royal Weddings have been celebrated in St George’s Chapel, such as the marriage of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Princess Eugenie and Mr Jack Brooksbank last year.
To learn more about St George’s Chapel and the Royal Weddings that have been celebrated there, be sure to read our Royal Wedding Exclusive Collectors’ Edition Part 1.