Prince Charles and Camilla step in for Queen during Royal Maundy Service

Prince Charles and Camilla stepped in for the Queen during the traditional Royal Maundy service on Thursday morning.

The royal couple travelled to Windsor Castle for the Royal Maundy service at St. George’s Chapel, following the news that the Queen, who turns 96 next week, would not be able to attend this weekend’s Easter service in Windsor.

Charles, 73, and Camilla, 74, stepped in to take over Her Majesty’s usual role at the Royal Maundy service after Buckingham Palace announced she would be unable to attend.

The traditional Easter ceremony, which dates back to 600AD, usually sees the Queen distribute special Maundy money to local pensioners in a service which commemorates Jesus washing the feet of the Apostles at the Last Supper.

However, Her Majesty’s son and his wife stepped in for the service this year, which is the first time the event has occurred in two years due to the pandemic.

Prince Charles was seen looking smart in a long-tailed suit as he held a bouquet of flowers and linked arms with Camilla, who wore a navy and white striped formal coat with a matching hat.

During the service The Prince of Wales distributed the Maundy money to 96 men and 96 women – one for each of The Queen's 96 years – with each receiving two purses, one red and one white.

Historically, this Maundy money is made up of a sum of £5.50 in the red purse, while the white purse contains uniquely minted Maundy Money. This takes the form of one, two, three and four silver penny pieces, the sum of which equals the number of years of the Monarch’s age.

The coins are legal tender but recipients usually prefer to retain them as a keepsake.

It's believed the Queen has only missed the Royal Maundy services four times before – twice after having babies and twice due to being on a foreign tour.

It comes after Buckingham Palace announced on Thursday morning that the Queen will not be attending this weekend's Easter Sunday Service at St. George's Chapel in Windsor.

Sharing a snippet of a statement issued by the Queen's representatives, royal journalist Victoria Murphy tweeted: "Buckingham Palace announces that members of the royal family will attend the Easter Sunday service in Windsor. The Queen will not be attending."

The news of the Queen's cancellations also come aftershe opened up about her recent Covid battle.

In a video appearance on a call with The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, she said of the virus: “It does leave one very tired and exhausted doesn’t it, this horrible pandemic. It is not a nice result.”

The Queen added it had been “frightening experience” to have Covid and that "not being allowed to see your relatives was very hard".

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