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Queen Elizabeth takes part in Maundy Thursday service in Oxford

Queen Elizabeth took part in the Maundy Thursday service at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford on 28 March, 2013. She was accompanied to the university town by Prince Philip, and distributed the traditional Maundy purses with coins specially minted for the occasion.

Queen Elizabeth attends Maundy Thursday service in Oxford.
Kirsty Wigglesworth/Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth at the annual Maundy Thursday service in Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford.
Kirsty Wigglesworth/Getty Images

As the Queen will be 87 next month, this year's ceremony had her handing out purses to 87 male and 87 female seniors who had been nominated for their services to their communities.

Though Britain had been in the throes of a very cold spring recently, the day was bright for the Queen's Maundy service, and the monarch wore an equally bright blue outfit to match.

According to the British monarchy website, the colorful tradition began in the 1400s and the Queen started a new tradition of moving the service from church to church, not just in Westminster Abbey as before. The Telegraph reported the 2013 service was the first time it had been held in Oxford for 400 years.

Maundy Thursday is not the only time the Queen will take part in Easter festivities. She and members of the royal family will also appear on Sunday at their traditional church service.

Sources: British monarchy website; Telegraph;

Get British Royal Family news by subscribing to this column or using the RSS feed. Linda Gentile is the British Royal Family Examiner and you can also follow on Twitter and Facebook.

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