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Queen Alexandra attends a Royal Maundy Service

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Published on Mar 5, 2008

Her Majesty attends a service at Westminster Abbey at which Maundy coins are distributed to local pensioners.

Queen Alexandra was the wife of Edward VII until his death in 1910.

The word 'Maundy' comes from the command or 'mandatum' by Christ at the Last Supper, to love one another.

The tradition of the Sovereign giving money to the poor dates from the thirteenth century. The Sovereign also used to give food and clothing, and even washed the recipients' feet. The last monarch to do so was James II.

To find out more about Royal Maundy Services, which still take place today, visit: www.royal.gov.uk/output/Page4947.asp

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