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: