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What is Maundy money?

Example of Maundy money Credit: PA

The Queen commemorates Maundy by offering "alms" to senior citizens recommended by clergy and ministers of all denominations, in recognition of their service to the Church and to the local community.

During the service the Queen gives out the Maundy money to 88 men and 88 women - one for each of her 88 years.

Each recipient receives two purses, one red and one white.

This year the red purse contains a £5 coin, commemorating the 300th anniversary of Queen Anne's reign and a 50p coin commemorating the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this summer.

The white purse contains specially minted Maundy money.

This takes the form of one, two, three and four silver penny pieces, the sum of which equals the number of years of the monarch's age.

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Royalist captures Queen visits in the North West

Royalist author Colin Edwards will be among the thousands of people welcoming the Queen to Lancashire at today's Maundy service.

The 73-year-old has met and photographed the monarch hundreds of times before, and today Colin will personally present her with his book, 'A Personal Portrait of the Royal Family.'

The book features many of the Queen's visits to the North West in a series of photos.

The Queen in Crewe, July 1987 Credit: Colin Edwards/Candy Jar Books
The Queen in Chester, April 1992 Credit: Colin Edwards/Candy Jar Books
The Queen in Manchester, December 1996 Credit: Colin Edwards/Candy Jar Books
The Queen at a Maundy service in Liverpool, April 2004 Credit: Colin Edwards/Candy Jar Books
Colin Edwards on a royal visit Credit: Colin Edwards/Candy Jar Books

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The Queen to visit Blackburn Cathedral

The Queen will hand out Maundy money to pensioners Credit: PA

Every year at Easter Her Majesty presents special 'Maundy money' to local pensioners in a UK cathedral or abbey. Today crowds are expected to gather in Blackburn for the Queen's visit to the town's cathedral to continue an ages old tradition.

Thousands are expected to give the Queen a warm welcome Credit: PA

If you're having a day out to see the Queen and you're planning on taking some pictures we'd love to see them. You can E mail them to granada.reports@itv.com or tweet them to @granadareports.

Preparations for Queen's visit to Blackburn

Preparations are underway in Blackburn for a very special Royal visit.

The town will welcome the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh tomorrow, Maundy Thursday.

It will see more than 150 pensioners from across Lancashire honoured with Maundy Money, in a ceremony that can be traced back to the fourth century.

Amy Welch reports.

Police crackdown on sham marriages

Police raids in Manchester investigating sham marriages Credit: ITV Granada

Greater Manchester police have carried out a number of early morning raids in an investigation into alleged sham marriages.

A number of arrests have been made as part of an investigation into claims Pakistani 'grooms' and Portuguese 'brides' had arranged bogus weddings.

The Weddings took place at Blackburn and Darwen Register Office between January and June last year.

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