Queen misses Maundy Thursday service

(Photo: BBC)

The Queen has withdrawn from the annual Maundy Thursday service for the first time since 1970.

Her Majesty will be represented by the Prince of Wales instead, Buckingham Palace announced.

The service is scheduled to take place at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on April 14.

It will be the first time that Prince Charles will represent the Queen at the service.

He will be joined at the event by the Duchess of Cornwall.

The service takes place every year on Maundy Thursday – also known as Maundy Thursday in some countries.

The holy day falls on the Thursday before Easter Sunday and commemorates that Jesus washed the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper.

At the annual service, silver coins, so-called “lucky money”, are traditionally distributed to pensioners from the area.

The Queen’s withdrawal is said to have been decided a week in advance to avoid disrupting the service.

It comes at a time when the Queen is having mobility issues.

Many recent engagements have been attended virtually by the Queen. She used a walking stick at last month’s Thanksgiving service for the Duke of Edinburgh.

A palace source told The Telegraph: “Emerging mobility issues make it difficult for the Queen to predict in advance whether she will be able to attend a given event.

“When an event requires advance notice for the printing of service orders and other material like Royal Maundy, it becomes a lot more difficult.

“She felt it best to clarify at this point that she would not be attending so as not to overshadow the service by backing out closer to the time.”

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