A humble honour for a Maundy recipient

David Wills was among pensioners who were invited to receive ceremonial Maundy Money from the Queen at a service at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

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When he received his letter from St James’s, “I didn’t speak for a moment, which is very unlike me.”

Mr Wills, was one of 92 men and 92 women chosen from across the country.

Maundy Thursday involves a religious service held on the day before Good Friday, which commemorates the night of the Last Supper. The origins of the ceremony, which are a part of the Easter celebrations, come from the commandment Christ gave after washing his disciples’ feet.

The Royal Family has taken part in Maundy celebrations since the 13th century, initially involving the distribution of food and clothing to the poor, but has evolved into presenting a number of men and women, each equal to the Queen’s age, with a red and a white purse in recognition of their contributions to the church and their community.

This year, the red purse contained a £5 coin marking four generations of royalty, and a 50p piece commemorating the Representation of the People Act 1918, which gave women the right to vote for the first time. The white purse included silver penny pieces totalling 92p, which represents the Queen’s age.

Zara Abdullah
May 2018