Queen Camilla’s Stepping In For King Charles Marks A Momentous Occasion In Royal History

Queen Camilla's Stepping In For King Charles Marks A Momentous Occasion In Royal History

Queen Camilla made history by substituting for King Charles at the annual Royal Maundy service on Thursday. This marked the first instance of a consort undertaking this duty on behalf of the monarch.

Clad in a cream coat designed by Fiona Clare and a leopard print dress, the 76-year-old Camilla bestowed Maundy money upon community stalwarts in recognition of their service at Worcester Cathedral. Despite the rain, approximately 200 individuals gathered outside the Cathedral to welcome the Queen, many of whom conveyed goodwill messages for the King and the Princess of Wales following their cancer diagnoses.

Among these well-wishers was Sheila Clark, 66, from Glasgow, who presented a posy of flowers, a photograph of the King and Queen captured at the Scottish Highland Braemar Games, and a card for Kate.

Sheila, a retired teacher, said about the message in her card: “Just that I’m hoping Kate’s getting on well and I’m sorry to hear about her illness and hoping Kate gets peace now to recover – that’s really what I wanted to say. I just wanted to come and see the Queen, I’ve followed her for many, many years, and just to let her know that I’m thinking of her. I wrote to her some weeks ago and I got a lovely card back from her and something from the King as well.”

In a pre-recorded address played at the service, King Charles, 75, spoke of his “great sadness” at not being able to attend amid his ongoing treatment.

Since his cancer diagnosis on February 5th, the monarch has reduced his involvement in extensive public duties. This weekend, Charles will attend the Easter Sunday church service in Windsor, accompanied by a select group of royal relatives.

The King added: “The 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.”

At the traditional ceremony, 75 women and 75 men, symbolizing the King’s age, were awarded two purses each – one red and one white – containing Maundy money. Norman Tomlinson, aged 72 from Mansfield, was among the recipients, recognized for his contributions to his local hospice and Catholic church, including administering communion to the ill and homebound.

Norman said: “This is just a fantastic day – a once in a lifetime (experience). I said to the Queen I hope the King gets well soon and your daughter-in-law as well and she said ‘Thank you very much’.”

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