Believed to only be the fifth time during Her Majesty’s reign, Queen Elizabeth II has not attended this year’s Royal Maundy Service.
For the first time, Prince Charles has represented her in this duty at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor in the annual tradition.
The annual Royal Maundy service—where the monarch distributes Maundy money to retired pensioners on the Thursday before Easter—has been a staple in the Queen’s calendar since she ascended to the throne in 1952.
However, in 2020, considered to be for the first time ever, the ancient tradition of the Royal Maundy ceremony was cancelled. Centuries of tradition were overturned as one of the Church of England’s most archaic ceremonies was unable to take place due to the Queen being in isolation at Windsor Castle.
The same happened in 2021, with the Royal Maundy ceremony being cancelled for the second year in a row.
Today, Prince Charles distributed the Maundy money, a £5 coin and a 50p coin portraying the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee for the red purse, and uniquely minted Maundy money to the value of 96p for the white purse. The Prince was accompanied by his wife Camilla at the engagement.
This year, there are 96 men and 96 women—one for each of the years the Queen has been alive (she turns 96 on April 21) who have received this gift. The senior citizens selected will each receive two purses, one red and one white.
The History of Royal Maundy
Maundy Thursday is a key day during the Easter week which commemorates Jesus Christ’s last supper on the day before his crucifixion.
The Royal Maundy Church service takes place each year on this day, and is inspired by the generosity shown by Jesus in washing the feet of his disciples shortly before his death.
Its origins can be traced back to the Middle Ages, when English monarchs would wash the feet of beggars and offer gifts of food and clothing in imitation of Jesus.
However it was King John who was the first to give to the poor on Maundy Thursday and by the early 14th century, it had become customary for the sovereign to provide a meal, together with gifts of food and clothing.
Sharing the Wealth
For numismatists, the day has added significance in the form of Maundy money which is given out by the reigning monarch each year at the service.
The tradition of giving out money began with Charles II, with the first set of Maundy coins consisting of a four penny, three penny, two penny and a penny. The coins have remained in much the same form since then, and are traditionally struck in sterling silver.
At the Royal Maundy ceremony, the reigning monarch hands each recipient two small leather string purses – one white, one red. The red purse contains ordinary coinage as money (in lieu of the food and clothing which was offered years ago) and the white contains silver Maundy coins.
The Maundy coins total the age of the King or Queen in pence, so this year, as the Queen approaches her 94th birthday, each white purse will contain 94 pence.
Recognition of Service
Nowadays it is not the poor who are the recipients of this gift, but specially chosen members of the public in recognition of the service they have given to the Church and local community.
The number of men and women receiving Maundy Money also equals the age of the sovereign during the year, and since the reign of George I, the recipients have been an equal number of men and women. For example, this year 188 recipients will receive the Maundy coins – 94 men and 94 women.
The tradition and heritage behind Maundy money makes them among the most sought-after coins in British numismatic history. Their owners are part of an exclusive club which dates back centuries, and they still exemplify the generosity and selfless work of the Church during this week – the most important in the Christian calendar.
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On this day in 1952, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor, acceded the throne, making her only the eighth Queen to rule England, Scotland and then later, the United Kingdom.
Now, 70 years on, our Queen is marking her Platinum Jubilee – the only British monarch in history to do so! Her Majesty has been a constant during an ever-changing Britain over the last 70 years, and it’s fantastic that her achievements are being celebrated all throughout 2022!
At Change Checker HQ, we’ve been celebrating Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee with the issue of the UK’s FIRST Royal 50p!
This 50p was first issued as part of the Annual Coin Set, with a reverse design by London Based Design Agency, Osborne Ross, and the fifth portrait of Her Majesty by Jody Clark on the obverse.
Excitingly this brand new 50p has been confirmed to enter circulation on the 7th February! With an initial 1.3 million being circulated from Post Offices on this date, The Royal Mint have confirmed that a maximum of 5,000,070 could be issued based on demand!
And, there’s even a very special collector quality version of this coin too, featuring an obverse design of Her Majesty on horseback, which is a first for the UK 50p!
Designed by John Bergdahl, this 50p’s obverse design pays homage to the original 1953 Coronation Crown, the first to show Queen Elizabeth II on horseback.
If you’re yet to secure this coin for your collection, you can do so in Brilliant Uncirculated quality, for JUST £4.99 (+p&p). Simply click here >>
And to continue our celebrations, Change Checker are also back on tour, with this brand new coin! On the road to the Platinum Jubilee weekend in June, we’re going to giving YOU the chance to swap any 50p for this brand new Platinum Jubilee 50p in Brilliant Uncirculated quality!
Starting our tour in Westgate Shopping Centre, Oxford, on the 24th February, we’ll be bringing 1,952 coins with us for you to swap, in tribute to Her Majesty’s coronation year.
But there’s lots of fun events and activities happening all up and down the country in the run up to the Platinum Jubilee weekend in June.
- The Queen’s Green Canopy, a unique tree planting initiative, which invites people from across the United Kingdom to “Plant a Tree for the Jubilee”.
- The Platinum Jubilee Pudding Competition, where the public are invited to create their own Jubilee pudding, with the winning pud being part of Her Majesty’s celebrations!
- The Queen’s Birthday Parade or otherwise known as Trooping the Colour, where over 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians will come together in the traditional Parade to mark The Queen’s official birthday, usually held on the second Saturday in June.
- Over 1,500 Platinum Jubilee Beacons will also be lit to mark the Platinum Jubilee, throughout the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK Overseas Territories.
- The Platinum Party at the Palace will be staged and broadcasted by the BBC on Saturday 4th June, featuring some of the world’s biggest entertainment starts.
- On Sunday 5th June, streets up and the country can take part in the Big Jubilee lunch, which encourages communities to celebrate their connections!
- And of course, we’ve also been treated to an extended Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday Weekend from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th of June!
This is just a small handful of the fun activities and initiatives that will be celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. How will you be celebrating? Let us know in the comments below!
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Change Checkers, we’ve got a special royal announcement…
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has confirmed that her Platinum Jubilee in 2022 will be celebrated with the UK’s FIRST-EVER Royal 50p!
* UPDATE *
The design of the UK’s FIRST ROYAL 50p has JUST been revealed by The Royal Mint! With Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee being the first in the history of our British Royal Family, the number 70 takes centre stage on the reverse design of this 50p.
The Royal Cypher EIIR is also shown on the design of this UK first, above the dates 1952-2022, in a poignant tribute to our nation’s longest reigning monarch.
What an outstanding issue this is going to be! We’ve never before seen a 50p mark such a significant event and it’s certainly got us wondering what this amazing 50p will look like! As this will be the FIRST-EVER UK Royal 50p, we’re expecting increased collector interest…
The Royal Proclamation has also raised an additional level of interest, revealing intriguing details of TWO different obverse designs – one featuring the normal Queen’s head design by Jody Clark and a second portraying Her Majesty on horseback, in what appears to be a nod to her original 1953 Coronation Crown.
We’ve only seen this happen once before which was for the Decimal Day 50p issued in the 2021 Annual Coin Set! The 50p from the Annual Set featured the original Arnold Machin portrait which featured on UK coinage during the time of the decimal change-over, on the obverse instead of her modern one.
According to the Proclamation, we’re set to see a number of UK firsts for this coin and we just can’t wait to find out more. It’s only right that the coin issued to mark the first monarch in British history to reach this milestone, should feature a design full of firsts too!
Previous Jubilee coins have proven so popular with collectors but historically these issues have been Crowns and £5 coins. So, I’m certain that the fact the Platinum Jubilee will be the first royal celebration on a UK 50p, it will make this the most popular 50p to date, especially if we can find it in our change!
If you don’t want to miss out on this UK FIRST, which is sure to be popular, make sure you’ve signed up to the Change Checker 50p Subscription Service! You will receive every future UK 50p, delivered to your doorstep, without any of the hassle of ordering the coin yourself!