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Great Britain: Queen Camilla is handing out “Maund Thursday Money” this year

Great Britain: Queen Camilla is handing out “Maund Thursday Money” this year

Great Britain

To her husband, King Charles III, who suffers from cancer. British Queen Camilla distributes “Covenant Money” on Maundy Thursday. The associated service is held at the cathedral in Worcester, western England.

Charles continued this tradition from his mother, Elizabeth II, who died in 2022. Selected individuals, all of retirement age and named by their parish, receive a “Maund Thursday Allowance” from the King as a token of appreciation for their service to the church and society.

“Covenant money” is similar to the Catholic custom of the Pope or Catholic priests washing people's feet on Maundy Thursday in remembrance of the Last Supper. The number of beneficiaries of the Maundy Thursday Funds is usually the number of women and men who are the king's age – 75 each.

The age of the king determines the number of coins

The age of the king also determines the number of coins. According to the Royal Mint, which produces these special coins, King John first introduced the coins in 1213; 13 pfnig for 13 poor man. From the time of Henry IV (1399-1413), the number of patrons became equal to the age of the king.

Each recipient receives two small leather bags containing pre-blessed coins. In one of them are coins like those in current circulation, symbolizing royal alms for clothing or food. The second bag contains a number of coins minted specifically for Maundy Thursday such as the King's Omar.

Queen Camilla (76 years old) is participating in the ceremony for the third time. The coins were distributed in 2022 and 2023 by her husband, Charles, in 2022 on behalf of 95-year-old Elizabeth II. The English monarch is also the secular head of the Anglican State Church in England.

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