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March 24th, 2005
The Royal Maundy Service
maundy money
On Maundy Thursday the Queen distributes Maundy money (above) to the same number of men and of women as there are years in her age.
In advance of the Queen's visit to Wakefield Cathedral on Thursday, March 24th 2005 to distribute Maundy money we look back at her visit to Bradford Cathedral during the city's Centenary Year.
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When the present Queen came to the throne she decided to take the Royal Maundy Service on the road. Each year the ceremony takes place at a different cathedral around the country.

This year the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will be in West Yorkshire to attend the Royal Maundy Service at Wakefield Cathedral. The recipients of the gift of specially-minted money will be 79 women and 79 men - one for each of the years she will have lived at the time of her next birthday on April 21st, 2005.

The Queen in Bradford in 2007
1997: The Queen distributes Maundy money in Bradford.

This is not the first occasion on which the Queen has distributed Maundy money in West Yorkshire. In 1997, the year Bradford celebrated its centenary as a city, the Maundy Service took place in Bradford Cathedral. It was the Queen's first visit to the district for 20 years.


Crowds watched as the Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, made her way from Forster Square railway station to the Great West Door of Bradford Cathedral on her way to perform the ceremony.

Following the service the Queen unveiled the Centenary Square plaque and placed a floral tribute on the memorial to the victims of the fire at Bradford City's ground in 1985 in which 56 people lost their lives. Later she visited Valley Parade where she and Prince Philip inspected the new stand before returning to their train.

The Queen
The Queen goes to a different part of the country each year for Maundy Thursday

The Thursday before Good Friday has come to be known as Maundy Thursday. Maundy comes from mandatum, the Latin for commandment. Before the Last Supper, Christ is said to have washed the feet of his disciples, commanding them to love one another.

Since the thirteenth century Maundy Thursday has been marked in this country by a ceremony - originally the monarch would give a gift of food or clothing (the dole) to the poor and even washed the feet of the recipients.

The offering of clothes and food soon changed to a gift of specially-minted money and it is believed the custom of washing feet was discontinued in the 18th century during the reign of James II. Although the Maundy money became decimal in 1971 along with the rest of the coinage, they carry the image of the young head of the sovereign for the entire reign.

The Queen in Bradford in 2007
Inside Wakefield Cathedral

Today the recipients are Christian pensioners recommended by their ministers in recognition of their service to their chuch and to the community. Members of the choir and some others who take part in the service are also entitled to receive Maundy money in lieu of a fee.

However, the 158 Wakefield pensioners will receive some extra gifts from the Queen. They will each be given a red purse containing a £5 coin commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar and a 50p coin marking the 250th anniversary of Samuel Johnson's Dictionary Of The English Language.

Following the Royal Maundy Service the Queen and Duke will themselves become recipents themselves as the lunch guests of Wakefield Council.

Catch up with all the latest from the Queen's visit to Wakefield here on the BBC Bradford and West Yorkshire website!

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