King Charles speaks of 'great sadness' at missing Maundy Thursday service

  • By Sean Coughlan
  • State Correspondent

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King Charles Mountie expressed his “great sadness” at not attending the service

King Charles has spoken of his “great sadness” at missing the traditional Maundy Thursday service.

While undergoing treatment for cancer, the monarch did not attend public events, but did record a message at a service at Worcester Cathedral.

Queen Camilla was at the service where she presented the Mountie money.

In his message, the king reaffirmed his coronation pledge “with all my heart” “not to serve, but to serve.”

He especially appreciated those who extend the hand of friendship in times of need.

He added: “I am very sorry that I cannot be with you today.

The number of recipients of the mountie money matches the age of the monarch – so 75 men and women will receive this symbolic gift.

King's message, recorded in mid-March, included a Bible reading and a call to the nation: “We need and benefit greatly from those who extend to us the hand of friendship, especially in times of need.”

He said today's 150 Mandi recipients are “wonderful examples of such kindness; of going above and beyond the call of duty and giving much of their lives to the service of others in their community.”

The Maundy Service, in which the King presents gifts, is one of the oldest royal ceremonies, dating back to at least the 13th century and the reign of King John, the monarch buried in this medieval cathedral.

Until James II in the 17th century, the king also washed the feet of the poor, echoing Jesus' washing of the apostles' feet at the Last Supper.

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The Queen extended the traditional Maundy money

Now the ceremony involves giving wallets of coins to the elderly, 75 men and 75 women, who are involved in helping the church and the local community.

This year's recipients received a £5 coin featuring the Tudor Dragon, a 50p coin marking the 200th anniversary of The Royal National Lifeboat Institution and a specially minted silver Mountie coin.

The King's message hailed the recipients of the Mountie money as “wonderful examples of such benevolence”.

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The king held a series of meetings, including on Wednesday, when he held an audience with Mohammed Nasheed, secretary-general of the Climate Action Forum.

He does not attend large public events with large crowds, but he will be at the Easter church service at St George's Chapel in Windsor on Sunday morning.

The Prince and Princess of Wales and their children will not be in attendance this Easter, so it will be a low-key event as Catherine continues to recover.

The monarch had delivered a video message to the annual Commonwealth service earlier this month, but Worcester Cathedral did not have video facilities, so an audio message was played instead.

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Large coins in red leather purses were distributed by the Queen

Anti-monarchy group Republic issued a statement ahead of the service saying the monarchy was “bad for Britain's democracy” and the Queen's visit to Worcester would be a symbol of “how out of touch the monarchy is with the values ​​of most of us”. .

Protest chants were heard as the Queen arrived at Worcester Cathedral.

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