King Charles’ poignant absence from Maundy service

Queen Camilla stands in for King Charles on Maundy Thursday

Queen Camilla attends the Maundy service at Worcester Cathedral. Credit: TheBritishMonarchy/

The traditional Maundy Thursday service at Worcester Cathedral was missing one notable figure today, that of King Charles III.

The event, held on Thursday, March 28, just before Easter Sunday, was marked by King Charles III’s heartfelt message expressing his deep regret at not being able to attend due to his ongoing cancer treatment.

Despite his absence, Queen Camilla took his place, distributing Maundy money to seniors for their significant contributions to the church and local community. This year, the number of honourees, 75 women and 75 men, corresponded with the monarch’s age.

Tradition and compassion continue

The King’s recorded message conveyed his commitment to uplift those around him, particularly in times of hardship: ‘This act of worship here in Worcester Cathedral reminds me of the pledge I made at the beginning of the Coronation Service.

‘To follow Christ’s example not to be served, but to serve. That I have always tried to do and continue to do with my whole heart.’

The king acknowledged the vital role of community support, emphasising the importance of extending a hand of friendship: ‘It is my special prayer today that our Lord’s example of serving one another might continue to inspire us and to strengthen all our communities.’

He concluded with the words: ‘May God bless you all this Easter.’

Despite the chilly, wet conditions, approximately 200 spectators gathered, eager to witness the ceremony and perhaps get to meet Queen Camilla.

Honouring commitment to community

This year’s Maundy service recipients, chosen for their selfless service, received a memorable mix of commemorative coins, including a £5 piece adorned with a Tudor dragon and a 50p coin celebrating the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s bicentenary.

Norman Tomlinson, a 72-year-old from Mansfield, was recognised for his dedication to his local hospice and church, describing the honour as a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

As King Charles III forgoes large public gatherings amid his treatment, his resolve to participate in the upcoming Easter service at Windsor reflects his dedication to his royal duties, despite personal challenges.

The controversy surrounding the monarchy’s relevance was highlighted by protestors who were present outside the event, underscores the ongoing debate about its place in modern Britain.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.