York & North Yorkshire

Queen hands out Maundy money at York Minster

The Queen has handed out traditional Royal Maundy money to 172 people during a service at York Minster.

Thousands of people gathered outside the minster and cheered as the Queen arrived for the service.

The Dean of York said the minster was honoured to have been chosen to host the service, which was last held in the city in 1972.

York is one of the few cathedrals outside London to have been asked to hold the service for a second time.

As the Queen arrived at the minster, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Beatrice of York, people could be seen toasting her with champagne in windows overlooking the street.

Dressed in grey tweed overcoat and aquamarine hat, the Queen had to touch a ceremonial sword and mace before passing through the 12th Century gateway to the walled city, Micklegate Bar.

To mark her Diamond Jubilee, the Queen handed out money to people from all of the UK's 44 Christian dioceses.

Usually, the Maundy money is given to people from a single diocese.

But this year, 86 women and 86 men - one for each of the Queen's 86 years - received the money in recognition of their services to the Church and their communities.

The royal party was greeted with rapturous applause and cheering as they emerged on to the steps of the Minster following the hour-long service.

The Dean of York, The Very Reverend Keith Jones, said the Queen had specifically requested that this year's service was a large one reflecting the celebrations for her Diamond Jubilee.

"We are given to understand that this service is very important to The Queen," he said.

Dean Jones said those receiving the Maundy money were all aged over 70 and had made valuable contributions to their neighbours, community and church.

Alf Patrick, 90, from York, who played for York City Football Club in the 1940s and 50s is one of the men selected to receive the Maundy money.

Mr Patrick said he had been "dumbfounded" to receive the invitation.

Recipients will received two purses from the Sovereign, a red and a white one.

The red purse contains a small amount of money in lieu of food and clothing. The white purse contains silver Maundy coins consisting of the same number of pence as the years of the sovereign's age.

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