Queen will NOT attend Easter Sunday service at Windsor Castle for the first time in 50 years which falls on one-year anniversary of Prince Philip’s funeral, palace sources reveal – despite chapel being on her doorstep
- Queen is not expected to attend Easter Sunday service at St George’s Chapel in
- Prince Charles and Camilla will represent her at today’s Royal Maundy service
- But they then be away for Easter Sunday at their Birkhall estate in Aberdeenshire
- Monarch, 95, has been experiencing mobility issues and now lives at Windsor
The Queen is not expected to attend the Easter Sunday service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle this weekend, a royal source said today.
Prince Charles and Camilla will represent her at today’s Royal Maundy service at Windsor, but will then be away for Easter at their Birkhall estate in Aberdeenshire.
However, other members of the Royal Family – not including the Queen, Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall – are expected to attend Sunday’s service.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s biographer Omid Scobie claimed today that this will be the first Easter Sunday service the Queen will have missed in 50 years.
The 95-year-old monarch has been experiencing mobility issues in recent months and now lives at Windsor, but it is anticipated that she will not be at either service.
Easter Sunday falls this year on the one-year anniversary of her husband Prince Philip’s funeral – which also took place at St George’s Chapel – on April 17, 2021.
Charles and Camilla will join the congregation at St George’s Chapel today for the Maundy Thursday service which is an important fixture in the royal calendar.
The Queen is pictured at her last public appearance which was at a service of thanksgiving for the life of the Duke of Edinburgh at Westminster Abbey in London on March 29
Prince Charles and Camilla (pictured in March) will attend the Royal Maundy service today
Buckingham Palace said last Friday that the Queen would not take part, and Charles would fulfil the ancient duty of distributing Maundy money to community stalwarts.
It is understood the Queen was unable to commit to the service and so the heir to the throne was asked to represent her to avoid her having to pull out on the day.
But the monarch attended last month’s service commemorating the life of Philip and has been carrying out virtual events and her other duties as head of state.
On four occasions a member of the royal family has stood in for the Queen at the Royal Maundy service, the last time was in 1970 when the Queen Mother distributed the Maundy money on behalf of her daughter who was on tour in New Zealand.
The Easter Sunday and Royal Maundy services are at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle
When Charles and Camilla arrive at the chapel they will be welcomed by the Dean of Windsor, the Right Reverend David Conner, who gave the address at Philip’s memorial service.
Following tradition they will be presented with nosegays – sweet smelling bouquets – which in centuries past were used to ward off unpleasant smells in the ceremony.
For the past two years the service has not been held due to the pandemic and instead the Queen wrote to recipients of Maundy money.
They received the coins in the post and were thanked by the monarch for their community work which earned them their nominations.
This year Charles will distribute the Maundy coins to 96 men and 96 women – as the Queen will be 96 this year, celebrating her birthday on April 21.
Easter Sunday marks one year since the Queen attended Prince Philip’s funeral at the chapel
The Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral took place at St George’s Chapel on April 17 last year
Each recipient receives two purses, one red and one white.
The white purse is filled with uniquely minted Maundy money – silver 10p and 3p pieces – to the value of 96 pence.
In the red pouch is a £5 coin and a 50p coin portraying the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Both coins have been newly minted this year.
The Royal Maundy is an ancient ceremony which originated in the commandment Christ gave after washing the feet of his disciples the day before Good Friday.