Royal Family

Eugenie joins the Queen for Maundy Thursday service

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Princess Eugenie has made a rare appearance at an official event with the Queen, joining her grandmother at the Maundy Thursday service.

Eugenie returned to Windsor Castle’s St George’s Chapel, where she wed husband Jack Brooksbank last autumn, for the annual event where the Queen distributes money to community stalwarts.

When the Queen arrived at the chapel’s north door with her granddaughter they were presented with traditional nosegays – which in ancient times warded off unpleasant smells – before taking their seats at the head of the congregation.

The Queen wore a buttercup-coloured Stewart Pravin outfit, matching hat by Rachel Trevor-Morgan and an Australian wattle brooch, while her daughter was dressed in a blue and white dress.

Eugenie, 29, joined the Queen when her grandmother, with the Duke of Edinburgh, opened the Great North Museum in Newcastle in 2009.

The then 19-year-old princess was studying English, history of art and politics at the city’s university.

Maundy Thursday is the Christian holy day falling on the Thursday before Easter, commemorating the Maundy and Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles.

During the service the Queen distributed Maundy money to 93 men and 93 women – as she will be 93 this year, celebrating her birthday on Sunday.

Each recipient got two purses, one red and one white.

Those who received alms were retired pensioners recommended by clergy and ministers of all denominations, in recognition of service to the Church and to the local community.

The Queen distributes Maundy money
The Queen distributes Maundy money (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA)

The Queen walked down lines of recipients and handed them a red purse containing a £5 coin, commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria, and a 50p coin portraying Sherlock Holmes. Both coins have been newly minted this year.

Historically, the sum of £5.50 in the red purse is made up of £3 for clothing, £1.50 in lieu of provisions, and £1 which represents a piece of the sovereign’s gown which, before Tudor times, used to be divided between the recipients.

Royal Maundy Service
The Queen and Princess Eugenie leavie St George’s Chapel (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA)

The Queen also presented them with a white purse containing uniquely minted Maundy money – one, two, three and four silver penny pieces – to the value of 93p.

The Royal Maundy is an ancient ceremony which originated in the commandment Christ gave after washing the feet of his disciples the day before Good Friday.

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