Our great friend, Norma Day, was highly honoured to be invited to Windsor Castle on Maundy Thursday to receive the Maundy purses from her Majesty, The Queen.
As many of you will know, Norma is a passionate supporter of the Queen, so to be able to meet Her Majesty made the day even more special for her. To be sitting only 3 rows away from her made it an altogether amazing experience.
Norma’s name was put forward to receive the purses by the Bishop of Basingstoke. In order to be eligible to receive the Maundy purses, you have to be of pensionable age and to have given great service to both the church and the local community. Norma must have had a huge tick against both of these!
Norma very kindly asked us, along with her son, Andrew, to come and stand in the Castle grounds to listen to the service. The singing was beautiful. Although we couldn’t see any of the service, just hearing it standing in the beautiful sunshine made it such a wonderful and happy occasion.
Tim, Norma’s husband, accompanied Norma in the Chapel for the service. They were then taken by coach (not horse drawn!) to the Castle for lunch whilst we moved on to watch the red coated Guardsmen march off.
The Maundy purses were given to 93 men and 93 women (1 for each year of the Queen’s life). Two purses are given to each person – one red and one white.
The red purse contained a £5 coin commemorating the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birth, and a 50p coin portraying Sherlock Holmes. The white purse contained uniquely minted Maundy money of one, two, three and four silver penny pieces.