Maundy Thursday: How is King Charles marking the day in comparison to Queen Elizabeth II?

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King Charles will mark his first Maundy Thursday as monarch (Pic:Getty)King Charles will mark his first Maundy Thursday as monarch (Pic:Getty)
King Charles will mark his first Maundy Thursday as monarch (Pic:Getty) | Getty Images
Maundy Thursday has been celebrated since 1952 when Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip took part in the first Royal Maundy Service

As people are wrapping up at work and school for the Easter bank holiday weekend, King Charles’ work for his first Easter as monarch is only just getting underway.

Today marks Maundy Thursday, one of the four key dates of Christianity’s Holy Week when people devote their time to worship leading up to Easter including Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

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For those who celebrate Easter, Maundy Thursday not only marks the end of Lent but is said to represent the day where Jesus had his final Passover with his disciples and the night of the Last Supper.

While religious leaders traditionally mark Maundy Thursday by kissing or washing the feet of people, just as Jesus did, the monarch and Royal Family celebrate the day with a special service and acts of charity.

Queen Elizabeth took part in Maundy Service for 70 years - Credit: Getty ImagesQueen Elizabeth took part in Maundy Service for 70 years - Credit: Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth took part in Maundy Service for 70 years - Credit: Getty Images | Getty Images

Just as his late mother did for 70 years, King Charles will be marking Maundy Thursday by going out and about alongside Queen Consort Camilla.

The tradition of a different cathedral across England hosting the Royal Maundy Service each year began with Queen Elizabeth in 1952, when the longest reigning British monarch decided money normally donated on the day to pensioners, should not be limited to those living in London.

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Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip took part in the Royal Maundy Service every year of Her Majesty’s reign giving gifts ‘according to the number of years she has lived’ to pensioners at every Anglican cathedral in England. For example, in her first Maundy Service, Elizabeth handed out specially minted coins to 26 men and 26 women, accounting for her age at the time.

The late monarch was unable to take part in the ceremony last year, but her eldest son stepped into the role to hand out the specially minted coins, putting him in good stead for his first service as King this year.

Expected to hold the traditional nosegay bouquet of flowers made up of daffodils, primroses, ivy, freesias and more flora, Charles will undertake his first Maundy Service at the York Minster on 6 April, directly one month before his coronation.

Charles will then present 74 men and 74 women with the Maundy Money to thank them for their Christian support and their help with the local community.

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Who will be receiving the money and what is King Charles’ gift?

The 148 recipients of the Maundy Money have been chosen by the Church of England.

In King Charles’ first official Maundy Service as monarch, His Majesty will give people a red and white bag, each containing different types of coin.

The white bag will hold the classic Maundy Money namely specially minted silver coins valued to the age of King Charles (74) while the red will case commemorative coins signifying the Sovereign’s historic gift of food and clothing.

“One will celebrate His Majesty’s forthcoming 75th birthday and the other will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Windrush Generation,” explained the Royal Family website.

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