Her Majesty The Queen attends Royal Maundy Service

On Maundy Thursday Her Majesty The Queen came to Leicester Cathedral to complete her Maundy Visits to English Anglican Cathedrals. The Royal Maundy Service is a tradition from Medieval times, when the Sovereign washes feet and gives alms to the poor. This is a service of the Chapel Royal, and our cathedral was hosting the event which is led by the Lord High Almoner with music that includes singing from the Chapel Royal Choir.

From early morning the crowds along the route gathered along the route the Queen and Duke and the would be taking, particularly round the large screens to where the service would be relayed. Press and TV from around the country gathered in Cathedral Gardens, while the recipients met at the King Power Stadium before being ‘bussed’ to the cathedral. Each of the 182 recipients brought a companion and they all, with the invited guests including representatives of other faiths, cadets, cathedral congregation, arrived at the cathedral in time for the various processions to take place before Her Majesty arrived.


royal maundy leicester

The Queen, wearing dark jade green, arrived in sunshine, was greeted by the Dean, Bishop and Almoner (Bishop John Inge from Worcester), introduced to the Cathedral Canons, then processed to the prepared seats in the sanctuary. During the service two music directors and three organists were joined by a combined choir and three trumpeters to sing and play beautiful music, with ‘Zadok the Priest’ being a significant highlight.

After the service a group photograph with all the Yeomen of the Guard joining the royal party preceded a walk to St Martins House, a small reception and a community lunch with guests including leaders and representatives of charities. They were served by staff from St Martins House, and 16 students and staff from Leicester.

Many pictures are available from www.willjohnston.smugmug.com/Maundy
A souvenir book from the day entitled ‘The Royal Maundy’ is available for purchase for £5 from Christian Resources Leicester, in St Martins House, and online via the Cathedral website.
An exhibition of pictures, entitled ‘Servant’, is open in the Cathedral until 3 May.

You can also now listen to an audio recording of the Royal Maundy Service via BBC Leicester:

Servant: The Royal Maundy Exhibtion

On Monday 17 April at 10.15am the Dean of Leicester and the Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire Jennifer, Lady Gretton opened an exhibition of photographs taken at the 2017 Royal Maundy service at Leicester Cathedral. Entitled ‘Servant’, the exhibition shows the one occasion in the year when The Queen goes to the recipients of awards, rather than them to her. Her visit to Leicester Cathedral will mean she has visited every Cathedral in England.

There is also a souvenir book accompanying the exhibition which will be available to purchase for £5 from the shop next to the cathedral, Christian Resources Leicester within St Martins House.

The Dean of Leicester said “I am delighted that the special service of Maundy will be recorded for posterity in this way for all the people of our city and county to enjoy, and we welcome everyone to visit the cathedral during the following month to share the experience.”

The exhibition will be open in the Cathedral until 3 May. It is open daily, with the exception of services and events occurring in the Cathedral. Please check the Cathedral website www.leicestercathedral.org for visiting hours.

Admission is free. Donations are welcomed.

Maundy Thursday is the Christian holy day falling on the Thursday before Easter. The word ‘Maundy’ comes from the command or ‘mandatum’ by Christ at the Last Supper, to love one another.  During this year’s Royal Maundy Service The Queen will have distributed Maundy Money to 91 men and 91 women – one for each of The Queen’s 91 years. This is a modern day version of an ancient ceremony known in England since around AD 600.