Thousands of people lined the streets of Oxford today to welcome a very special visitor to the city - The Queen. She attended a Maundy Thursday service at Christ Church cathedral and handed out traditional Maundy Money purses to pensioners. Divya Kohli reports
The recipients of the Queen's Maundy money 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.
Barbara Muldowney, 85, from Wokingham, Berkshire, has been a stalwart member of St Bartholomew's church in the nearby village of Arborfield.
She said: "I was nominated for a number of things, particularly 40 years' teaching, also for membership of Arborfield's church for 50 years and working amongst the young people.
"I'm tremendously honoured by it, I think it's a tremendous privilege - I feel very inadequate."
Geoffrey Moss, 74, from Ascot, Berkshire, attends All Saints church in the town and has worked tirelessly helping local pensioners.
He said: "I was nominated for my general service to elderly people in my community.
"I help with Talking Newspapers, I'm a trustee for Age Concern and for the last 16 years I've helped my wife who runs a drop-in centre for the elderly in Ascot."
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.
Mr Moss added: "This goes way back to the origins of Christianity with Jesus washing feet so it's an incredible experience."
The Queen has presented the famous red and white purses of Maundy money to 87 women and 87 men at the annual Royal Maundy service.
This year, it was held in Oxford for the first time in almost 400 years.
The Queen presented Maundy money today to pensioners who have worked tirelessly for their communities.
Joined by the Duke of Edinburgh, she distributed the traditional coins during the annual Royal Maundy service which this year was held in Oxford for the first time in almost 400 years.
Charles I was the last monarch to carry out the ceremony in the city in 1642 and 1643 when his court was established there during the Civil War.
Within Oxford's ancient Christ Church cathedral, 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 Royal Mint has tweeted a picture of the 2013 Maundy money that will be distributed by the Queen to 87 women and 87 men - one for each of the Queen's 87 years.
The Queen will be in Oxford later to hand out Maundy purses to pensioners. The service will take place at Christ Church Cathedral - where eighty seven men and eighty seven women, representing Her Majesty's age, will receive the gift.