The Queen attends Royal Maundy Service in Oxford

The Queen hands out Maundy money at the Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford.
The Queen hands out Maundy money at the Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. Photo: Press Association

The Queen distributed Maundy money today at the traditional Royal Maundy Service at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford.

It was the first time in almost 400 years the service had been held in Oxford.

Accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen handed out the famous red and white purses of money to 87 women and 87 men - as she is now in her 87th year.

The white purse carried the famous Maundy money, silver 1p, 2p, 3p and 4p pieces.

The red purse contained a £5 coin and 50p coin commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Queen's coronation in 1953.

The Maundy money  distributed by the Queen.
The Maundy money and commemorative coins distributed by the Queen. Credit: Twitter/@BritishMonarchy

The recipients were retired pensioners recommended by clergy and ministers of all denominations, in recognition of service to the Church and the community in the diocese of Oxford.

The bags of Maundy money before they were handed out by the Queen
The bags containing the Maundy mone Credit: Press Association

Patricia Peirson, a 90-year-old great-grandmother of five, has been a member of the congregation at St Mary's Church in her hometown of Datchet for more than 50 years.

"I was amazed to be nominated. I never would have aspired to something like this. I'm very pleased.

"I'm going to save the money and give it to my great-grandchildren."

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh outside Christ Church Cathedral after the service.
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh outside Christ Church Cathedral after the service. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

The Maundy Service, which dates back to the 13th century, has Biblical origins and echoes the story of Christ washing the feet of his disciples shortly before his death.

Initially the sovereign gave money to the poor - and washed recipients' feet.

Foot-washing ended with James II in the 18th century.