The Queen was joined by her granddaughter Princess Eugenie as she handed out Maundy money to 93 men and 93 women today at St George’s Chapel.
The tradition dates back to the 15th century and the number of people receiving the coins was significant as the Queen turns 93 on Sunday.
Each recipient received two purses – a white one containing pennies, twopences, threepences and fourpences up to the value of the Sovereign’s age, and a red one, containing ordinary coins, symbolising a gift of food and clothing.
Represented among the recipients from all over the country were two proud ‘locals’ – Victor Mitchell, 88, a bell ringer at the Curfew Tower at Windsor Castle for over 50 years, 15 of them as a steward, and Pamela Leslie Melville, 71, a steward at St George’s Chapel for 30 years.
The College of St George and Chapel Royal Procession led by the Military Knights of Windsor was matched by the Royal Almonry procession featuring Yeomen of the Guard carrying dishes bearing the Maundy money.
The dishes date from the reign of Charles II in the 17th century.
The Queen, dressed in buttercup yellow, was greeted at the North Door of the chapel by the Dean of Windsor Right Rev David Conner, where she was presented with a traditional nosegay by children from Colnbrook Primary School and Holy Family Catholic School in Langley.
The Lord High Almoner Doctor John Inge, Bishop of Worcester told the recipents: “In a few moments this chapel will be transformed by a spectacle of pageant and tradition and you will be a part of it.”
The ceremony has been held in cathedrals and abbeys across the country but for the last three years it has been held in St George’s Chapel.