Queen will not attend Maundy Day church service for first time

This year's service will mark the first time in the Queen's reign that she has not attended.

Prince Charles to represent Queen as she pulls out of annual Maundy Day service Getty Images

The Queen has pulled out of attending the annual Maundy Day church service and will be represented for the first time by the Prince of Wales, Buckingham Palace said.

Maundy Thursday is the Christian holy day falling on the Thursday before Easter. It commemorates the Maundy and last supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles.

The Queen commemorates Maundy by offering alms to senior citizens – retired pensioners recommended by clergy and ministers of all denominations – in recognition of their service to the church and to the local community.

This year’s service will mark the first time in the Queen’s reign that she has not attended.

Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall attend St George’s Chapel, where the Prince of Wales will distribute the Maundy money – to 96 men and 96 women, one for each of The Queen’s 96 years.