24 March 2013

Flashback: Royal Maundy Service

A staple on the Queen's calendar each year is the Royal Maundy Service, held on Maundy Thursday - the day before Good Friday, before Easter. Royal Maundy has been a tradition for centuries. It once involved the sovereign washing the feet of the poor in addition to giving them money and gifts; these days, the Queen hands out special purses of "Maundy money" to groups of pensioners (retirees) each year. A group of men and a group of women, each group equal to the sovereign's age at the time of the service, are selected by the local diocese to receive the coins. The service was normally held at Westminster Abbey, but the Queen opted to vary the location after her accession. In the course of her reign, Royal Maundy Service has been held at most of the major cathedrals in the country.

The first Maundy Service of the Queen's reign was actually the first official public engagement of her reign. For the first several years, she primarily wears a simple pair of pearl stud earrings, with a Three Strand Pearl Necklace.

1952, Westminster Abbey: Vanguard Rose Brooch
1953, St Paul's Cathedral: Dorset Bow Brooch
1954, Westminster Abbey: The Queen was not present, as she was away on a Commonwealth tour.
1955, Southwark Cathedral: No Brooch
1956, Westminster Abbey: Williamson Diamond Brooch

1957, St. Albans Abbey: Sapphire Chrysanthemum Brooch
1958, Westminster Abbey: Aquamarine Clip Brooches
1959, St George's Chapel, Windsor: No Brooch
1960, Westminster Abbey: The Queen was not present, due to Prince Andrew's recent birth.
1961, Rochester Cathedral: No Brooch

1962, Westminster Abbey: No Brooch
1963, Chelmsford Cathedral: Prince Albert's Sapphire Brooch
1964, Westminster Abbey: The Queen was not present, due to Prince Edward's recent birth.
1965, Canterbury Cathedral: Dorset Bow Brooch
1966, Westminster Abbey: Unknown Brooch

From about her 1965 appearance on, the Queen settles in to the earring/necklace combo for the Maundy Service that we see constantly today: Queen Mary's Button Earrings  and a Three Strand Pearl Necklace.

1967, Durham Cathedral: Unidentified Brooch
1968, Westminster Abbey: Not Pictured
 1969, Selby Abbey: No Brooch
1970, Westminster Abbey: The Queen was not present, as she was in New Zealand.
1971, Tewkesbury Abbey: No Brooch
1972, York Minster: Empress Marie Feodorovna's Sapphire Brooch

1973, Westminster Abbey: Unknown Brooch
1974, Salisbury Cathedral: Dorset Bow Brooch
1975, Peterborough Cathedral: No Brooch
1976, Hereford Cathedral: Not Pictured
1977, Westminster Abbey: Not Pictured
1978, Carlisle Cathedral: Australian Wattle Brooch
1979, Winchester Cathedral: Not Pictured
1980, Worcester Cathedral: Round Cambridge Emerald Brooch
1981, Westminster Abbey: Not Pictured

1982, St. David's Cathedral, Dyfed: Brazilian Aquamarine Parure Brooch
1983, Exeter Cathedral: Cullinan V Brooch
1984, Southwell Minster: Scroll Cambridge Emerald Brooch
 1985, Ripon Cathedral: Cambridge Pearl Pendant
1986, Chichester Cathedral: Prince Albert's Sapphire Brooch

 1987, Ely Cathedral: Queen Victoria's Bow Brooch
1988 Lichfield Cathedral: Frosted Sunflower Brooch
1989, Birmingham Cathedral: Modern Ruby Brooch
1990, Newcastle-upon-Tyne Cathedral: Cambridge Pearl Pendant
1991, Westminster Abbey: Not Pictured
1992, Chester Cathedral: Not Pictured
1993, Wells Cathedral: Gold Lace Work Brooch
1994, Truro Cathedral: Not Pictured

1996, Norwich Cathedral: Frosted Sunflower Brooch
1997, Bradford Cathedral: Pearl Trefoil Brooch
1998, Portsmouth Cathedral: Nizam of Hyderabad Rose Brooch
1999, Bristol Cathedral: Nizam of Hyderabad Rose Brooch
2000, Lincoln Cathedral: Modern Ruby Brooch

2001, Westminster Abbey: City of London Lily Brooch
2002, Canterbury Cathedral: Australian Wattle Brooch
2003, Gloucester Cathedral: Jardine Star Brooch
2004, Liverpool Cathedral: Cullinan V Brooch
2005, Wakefield Cathedral: Jardine Star Brooch

2006, Guildford Cathedral: Queen Adelaide's Brooch
2007, Manchester Cathedral: Grima Ruby Brooch
2008, St. Patrick's Church of Ireland Cathedral: Queen Mother's Ruby and Diamond Bouquet Brooch

The 2013 Royal Maundy Service is scheduled for Thursday, March 28th, at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford. Which brooch do you think we'll see?

Photos: British Pathé/PA/BBC/GettyImages//Peterborough Today/Salisbury/News&Star/Warwickshire Life/Corbis