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Flanked by red-coated Yeoman Of The Guard - the bodyguards who traditionally accompany her to the annual service - the Queen and her husband are presented with spring posies outside Manchester Cathedral
Photo: © Getty Images
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The traditional pre-Easter service, which dates back to the 18th century, is celebrated in a different city each year. And the Queen seemed happy to have the opportunity to meet some of her northern subjects
Photo: © Getty Images

A local youngster presents the monarch with flowers
Photo: © Getty Images

Queen distributes Maundy money in Manchester

6 APRIL 2007

The Queen brought some spring cheer to pensioners in Manchester on Thursday when she arrived in the city to celebrate the traditional beginning of Easter weekend.

Accompanied by Prince Philip, the monarch attended the Maundy Thursday service - celebrated this year in Manchester cathedral - where ceremonial purses of money are distributed to pensioners chosen by clerics for their services to the church and community. The ceremony dates back to the 18th century, but it is the first time it has been held in the northern city.

Elegant in a dusky pink outfit, the Queen handed out two purses each to 81 men and 81 women - one containing 81p in freshly minted Maundy Money, to mark her 81st birthday later this month, and the other bearing a £5 coin to mark her diamond wedding anniversary.

Early on in her reign Queen Elizabeth chose to hold the annual service in a different city every year. And she seemed to be enjoying the opportunity to meet some of her Manchester subjects as she chatted to wellwishers and received posies of spring blooms outside the cathedral.

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