Queen replaced by Prince Charles for the first time at this Easter ceremony close to her heart

The Queen will be replaced by Prince Charles at the Maundy Thursday service for the first time

the Queen is being replaced by Prince Charles at Maundy Thursday
(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

The Queen has been forced to cancel plans to attend an Easter tradition as concerns around her health and mobility grow. Her Majesty will be represented at the Maundy Thursday service by Prince Charles and Camilla, marking the first time Charles has stood in for the Queen in this duty.

The Queen’s Easter gift tradition is thought to be one of Her Majesty’s favorite events as the monarch traditionally distributes Maundy money to pensioners and community figures at the service.

Her Majesty is renowned for always giving back, especially to pensioners and people who served in the war. During coronavirus, she went out of her way to make a private pilgrimage to the grave of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey to mark the centenary of his burial.

The Queen is said to be a fan of the ceremony, as it connects to her strong faith

(Image credit: Arthur Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The Easter traditions are, therefore, thought to be important to the deeply religious Queen. Instead of attending in person, Her Majesty will be represented at the ceremony for the first time by Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.

This is the first Maundy Thursday service to be held in person since 2019, due to coronavirus restrictions canceling them in 2020 and 2021.

The Queen last attended the service in 2019, where she was joined by her granddaughter, Princess Eugenie.

This year’s ceremony will take place on April 14 at St George’s Chapel, Windsor.

The Queen hands out Maundy Money at the ceremony

(Image credit: Arthur Edwards - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

What is Maundy Thursday?

Maundy Thursday is part of the Christian celebration of Easter and marks the night of the Last Supper as told in the Bible.

The name Maundy and the intent of the ceremony itself derive from the Latin word for mandate (or command) and refers to an instruction of Jesus Christ at the Last Supper that his followers should love one another. As a gesture, he washed the feet of his disciples as an act of kindness.

For the Queen, the service has always included the distribution of what is known as Maundy Money.

The Maundy Thursday service has been cancelled for the last 2 years due to Covid

(Image credit: Steve Parsons - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

These small silver coins, officially known as the Queen's Maundy money, are symbolic alms given typically to elderly recipients.

The coins are technically legal tender, but they are more keepsakes. A small sum of regular money is also given alongside the Queen’s Maundy money gesture.

Today, the service is typically held in a different church every year.

Jack Slater
Freelance writer

Jack Slater is not the Last Action Hero, but that's what comes up first when you Google him. Preferring a much more sedentary life, Jack gets his thrills by covering news, entertainment, celebrity, film and culture for woman&home, and other digital publications.

Having written for various print and online publications—ranging from national syndicates to niche magazines—Jack has written about nearly everything there is to write about, covering LGBTQ+ news, celebrity features, TV and film scoops, reviewing the latest theatre shows lighting up London’s West End and the most pressing of SEO based stories.