Queen Camilla Wears Queen Elizabeth's Brooches as She Steps in For King Charles at Maundy Thursday Service

Each year on the Thursday before Easter the British sovereign presents special coins known as Maundy money to pensioners. And this year, Queen Camilla became the first royal consort ever to take on the responsibility as she stepped in for her husband at the Maundy Thursday service.

Dressed in a leopard print chiffon dress and cream cashmere coat by Fiona Clare, a hat by Lock and Co, and gold and sapphire flower brooches which belonged to the late Queen Elizabeth, Camilla traveled to Worcester Cathedral for this year’s service. She handed out Maundy money to 75 men and 75 women, representing the sovereign’s age.

However, despite being unable to attend due to limiting the number of people he has contact with during his cancer treatment, the King recorded a personal video message which was played into the Cathedral. “Ladies and Gentlemen, it is, for me, a great sadness that I cannot be with you all today. The Maundy Service has a very special place in my heart,” the King began.

He went on to speak about “all the different services that exist for our welfare,” adding “we need and benefit greatly from those who extend the hand of friendship to us, especially in a time of need.” This point has been picked up by many as being relevant to the monarch’s personal situation today as he and his daughter-in-law are both treated for cancer. At the time of Kate announcing her diagnosis last week, the King released a heartfelt and personal message saying he was “so proud” of his “beloved daughter-in-law.”

The King also used his message today to reiterate his commitment to his role and the pledge he made at the beginning of the Coronation Service “to follow Christ’s example ‘not to be served but to serve.’” “That I have always tried to do and continue to do, with my whole heart,” Charles said.

The King’s message was recorded two weeks ago at Buckingham Palace.

Worcester Cathedral has highlighted how the tradition of presenting alms on Maundy Thursday goes back to at least the 4th Century. “In recent times it has been the tradition for the service to travel to different cathedrals and it last took place in Worcester in 1980. The service last year was attended by The King and Queen and was held at York Minster,” the Cathedral advised in a statement.

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