Queen Elizabeth II and Maundy Money

In 2022 we celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Throughout those seventy years every Easter on
Maundy Thursday, the Queen has presented special ‘Maundy money’ to local pensioners in a UK
cathedral or abbey.

West Midlands Police Diamond Jubilee Visit CC BY-SA 2.0

The money is specially minted and presented to an equal number of men and woman, the number is
dependent on the age of the monarch, for example, when the Queen was 90 years old, 90 women
and 90 men were presented with the money. Each recipient receives two small leather string
purses. A red purse containing ordinary coins, and a white one containing silver Maundy coins, which
amount to the age of the Queen in pence, for example, 90 pence when the monarch was aged 90.

The service originates from the day before the crucifixion when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples
and commanded them to ‘Love one another’. By the 13th century, the Royal Family adopted a
similar ceremony.

Gloucester Cathedral

Traditionally, the Sovereign gave money, food and clothing to the poor. The monarch even washed
the feet of recipients; the last monarch to do so was James II. During the Queen’s reign Maundy
money has been presented at all of the UK’s cathedrals and some abbeys, including these in and
around the Gloucestershire and Cotswolds region. Tewkesbury Abbey in 1971, Hereford Cathedral
in 1976, Worcester Cathedral in 1980. Gloucester Cathedral in 2013 and Oxford Cathedral in 2013.

Tewkesbury Abbey

Tewkesbury Abbey © Philip Halling CC BY-SA 2.0

By  Phil Halling  MITG


Cotswold and Gloucestershire Blue Badge Tour Guide