Over eight decades, Queen Elizabeth still full of cheer at Royal Maundy

Queen Elizabeth has been attending the Maundy service for over eight decades so Thursday's service was no different. Scores of royal watchers gathered at Sheffield Cathedral to see the Queen at the service, also known as Royal Maundy. Britain's monarch looked full of spring cheer as she stepped out in a vibrant teal hat and matching coat over a floral dress.

After arriving in the South Yorkshire city by train, the 88-year-old royal, who will celebrate her birthday on April 21, distributed the Maundy Money to 89 men and 89 women – one for each of her 89 years.


The Queen in Sheffield on Thursday Photo: Getty Images


Recipients of the Royal Maundy coins are pensioners recommended for their service to the Church and the local community. Each nominated recipient receives one white and one red purse. The red one contains a £5 coin and a 50p coin while the white purse contains uniquely minted silver Maundy coins.

The Queen has distributed the Maundy Money on all but four occasions since coming to the throne in 1952. After the service, the monarch and the Duke of Edinburgh signed a visitors' book in the cathedral before heading to Sheffield Town Hall for a lunch.


Britain's monarch has been attending the annual service for eight decades Photo: Getty Images

The Queen's engagement in Sheffield came three days after she met with David Cameron to mark the official start of the election campaign. In a ritual steeped in tradition, Mr. Cameron asked the Queen for permission to dissolve Parliament ahead of the General Election May 7.

Once permission was granted, the Queen signed and sealed paperwork leading to the dissolution. Her Majesty then met with her Privy Council, which Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is president, for the signing of the documents.

Britain's royals will soon head toWindsor Castle to celebrate Easter. The Queen, Prince Philip and numerous members of the royal family will attend Sunday's Easter service at St George's Chapel.

Click the photo below to see a look back at other Maundy services:

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