HM The Queen’s Visit to Worcester 1980 – Maundy Thursday

  • 5th June 2022

One of the Queen’s visits to Worcestershire was in 1980, when she came to present Maundy Money at Worcester Cathedral. The origins of this tradition goes back to at least King John, if not before. Inspired by the example of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples, monarchs would enact a sign of humility. Washing feet was replaced by giving out money.

HM The Queen handing out the Maundy Money. (c) Worcester News

The services were held in Westminster Abbey, but when Elizabeth II came to the throne she decided it should be taken around the country, usually in a Cathedral. Those receiving Maundy Money are usually from the host Diocese and nominated local churches.

The coins are presented in two leather purses, a white one containing coins to the value of the same number of pence as the years of the monarch’s age, and a red purse containing a £5 and a 50p coin. The coins, although technically legal tender, are made of silver and specially made. The recipients number the age of the Queen, so that year 54 men and 54 women received money.

The Queen is assisted by the Lord High Almoner, a Bishop appointed to this role. There’s a current local link with the Bishop of Worcester, John Inge, the current postholder.

Royal party

The 1980 visit seems to have gone down in local consciousness, since every time we share the photos we always get lots of comments. Any Royal visit will generate memories, but this visit seems to provoke more comments than usual. We also have more photos from members of the public for this event than for others.  We’ve reproduced some comments below


I remember this well is was 6 I got lost and the police took me to the police station and gave me food and drink until mum came and I saw the queen get back into her car


My dad was one of the recipients he divided the Maundy money between myself and my three sisters


My mum attended this service with my uncle councillor Arnold Bryan. They had lunch after with the Queen.


I was at work in St John’s, alone in the office, listening to the service on the radio

I was in that crowd somewhere. .

She also visited the guild hall as I recall . There were local school children inside who she met., Including myself


I am the school girl in the pigtails standing next to the Queen outside the cathedral. I was 10 and was nominated by Rainbow Hill Junior School. A great honour. And I still have the maundy money the queen presented to us afterwards.


My brother was a Lay Clerk at Worcester Cathedral at that time & s such received Maundy money. Sadly he passed away 11 years ago (11.04.2009), I still have that Maundy money.

Remember her green dress.

The Queen with Worcester’s Mayor outside Worcester Guildhall

After the service the Queen walked down Worcester High Street, meeting crowds, before meeting people in the Guildhall. She also visited The Commandery before heading to Hartlebury Castle, still then home to the Bishop, for lunch.


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