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  • June Meets The Queen by Pat Thirkettle

    On March 29th June Robbins, Verger at St Mary's, Olveston, went to Windsor Castle to receive Maundy Money. The Royal Maundy is an ancient custom commemorating the day before His crucifixion when Jesus washed the feet of His disciples and commanded them to 'Love one another...'. On Maundy Thursday, the day before Good Friday, the British monarch ceremonially distributes small silver coins (this year totalling 92 pence, one for each year of the Queen's life) to elderly recipients (92 men and 92 women). The coins are legal tender but do not circulate because of the silver content and the numismatic value.

    June spent Wednesday night in a Windsor hotel with her nephew, his wife and their daughter Amy who would accompany June to the service. They were met at the Windsor Castle entrance by buses which took them to St George's Chapel in the Castle grounds for the 11 o'clock service. June was given a badge with her name and seat number in a side aisle, with Amy sitting behind her. In the middle of the service the Queen presented her with two small leather pouches, a red one with the silver coins and a white one with a crown coin, worth £5, inscribed 'Four generations of the Royal Family' and the initials E,C,W and G in the centre and a 50p piece inscribed 'Representation of the People Act'. June said the Queen was wearing blue with a lovely hat, and she smiled at June as she handed her the purses. She also said the Queen is very short and thinks that she is taller!

    After the service all the recipients and their guests were taken up to the Castle and into the State Apartments where they were served with sandwiches, cakes, white wine and fruit juice. At 2 o'clock they left and her nephew and his wife were waiting for them outside; they had had tickets admitting them to the Castle grounds to see the Queen drive to and from the Chapel.

    In June's words: 'It was a day to remember'.