The King sends a recorded message “Hand of Friendship”.

  • Written by Sean Coughlan
  • Royal correspondent

Image source, BBC/Sky/ITV News

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King Charles recorded a message for the Maundy Thursday service at Worcester Cathedral

The king recorded a message for Maundy Thursday Mass praising those who “extend the hand of friendship, especially in times of need.”

The message will be played at the service at Worcester Cathedral.

The king, who is being treated for cancer, will not attend, and Queen Camilla will distribute the traditional “Maundi money” on his behalf.

The number of beneficiaries matches the king's age, so 75 men and women will receive this symbolic gift.

The king's message, recorded in mid-March, will include a reading of the Bible and a call as a nation: “We need and benefit greatly from those who extend to us the hand of friendship, especially in our time of need.”

His message will say “we must serve and care for one another” and he will repeat his coronation promise “not to serve but to be served.”

The Maundy Service, in which the king presents gifts, is one of the oldest royal ceremonies, dating back to at least the 13th century and the reign of King John, the king who is buried in this medieval cathedral.

Until James II in the seventeenth century, the king also washed the feet of the poor, in echo of Jesus washing the feet of the apostles at the Last Supper.

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Covenant money is traditionally distributed in leather wallets by the king

The ceremony now includes the distribution of coin purses to the elderly, 75 men and 75 women, who have been involved in helping the church and the local community.

This year's winners will receive £5 coins featuring a Tudor dragon, a 50p 200th Anniversary Royal National Lifeboat Institution coin, and specially minted silver Maundy coins.

The King's letter would praise those receiving Maundy money as “wonderful examples of this kindness.”

This is another post in which Queen Camilla appeared on behalf of the King, while he continues his cancer treatment, which began last month.

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The King continued his meetings, including a meeting on Wednesday with Mohamed Nasheed, Secretary-General of the Climate Vulnerable Forum.

He has not attended any large public events with large crowds, but will attend Easter Mass on Sunday morning at St George's Chapel in Windsor.

It will be a smaller event this Easter, with the Prince and Princess of Wales and their children not in attendance, as Catherine continues her recovery.

The King had sent a video message to the annual Commonwealth Mass earlier this month, but it is understood Worcester Cathedral did not have video facilities, so an audio message will be played instead.

The anti-monarchy group issued a statement ahead of the service saying the monarchy was “bad for British democracy” and the Queen's visit to Worcester would be a sign of “how out of touch the monarchy is with the values ​​of most of us”. .

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