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Queen presents money to pensioners at Maundy service

The Queen commemorates Maundy by offering "alms" to senior citizens
The Queen commemorates Maundy by offering "alms" to senior citizens Credit: PA wire

The Queen, joined by the Duke Edinburgh, has presented money to pensioners at the traditional Royal Maundy Thursday service.

Hundreds of well-wishers lined the streets outside Blackburn Cathedral in Lancashire to welcome the royal party to the service which dates back to the 13th century.

Crowds wait for Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh outside Blackburn Cathedral
Crowds wait for Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh outside Blackburn Cathedral Credit: PA wire

The Queen distributed Maundy money to senior citizens, including retired pensioners who have been recognised by the clergy and ministers for their service to the church and local authority.

Maundy Thursday is the Christian holy day on the Thursday before Easter to commemorate the Maundy and Last Supper of Jesus Christ
Maundy Thursday is the Christian holy day on the Thursday before Easter to commemorate the Maundy and Last Supper of Jesus Christ Credit: PA wire

During the service 88 men and 88 women received a coin for each of the Queen's 88 years of reigning. Each pensioner was also given a white purse and red purse to mark the celebration.

Read: Prince George receives cuddly wombat gift

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William and Kate 'will return' to Blue Mountains

The stunning views from one of Australia's most visited beauty spots left the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge declaring they will return some day.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stand in front of the 'Three Sisters' rock formation. Credit: Reuters

William described the breathtaking Three Sisters viewing point across the Blue Mountains as "a great place for a picnic" while Kate discussed bush walking and said they would come back.

The couple were greeted at the beauty spot by around 3,000 well-wishers lining crash barriers.

William and Kate, who wore a Diane von Furstenburg wrap dress and wedges, were welcomed by cheers from the crowds and walked down to a platform to see the majestic views across the Blue Mountain range.

Duke and Duchess meet bush fire survivors

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are visiting the Blue Mountains region, which was devastated by wildfires last October.

The royal couple met with families in Winmalee who lost their homes to the fires and members of the emergency services who helped tackle them.

More than 100 homes were destroyed in Winmalee when the fires swept thorough the regions, to the west of Sydney.

The Duke and Duchess talk with members of the O'Dell family who lost their home during bushfires last year. Credit: Reuters/Phil Noble
The Duchess of Cambridge talks with members of the Rural Fire Service. Credit: RTV
The Duke of Cambridge talks with fire service volunteers in the Blue Mountains. Credit: RTV

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Prince George receives cuddly wombat gift

Prince George, with his parents Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, receives a gift from the Governor-General
Prince George with his parents Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, receives a gift from the Governor-General Credit: Commonwealth of Australia and Auspic

Prince George, who has been accompanying his parents on their tour across Australia and New Zealand, has received a special gift from the Governor-General.

The young Prince appears delighted with his new cuddly toy, which is said to be a wombat.

Their Royal Highness The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Governor-general and Lady Cosgrove at Admiralty House, Sydney.
Their Royal Highness The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Governor-General and Lady Cosgrove at Admiralty House, Sydney. Credit: Commonwealth of Australia and Auspic

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and baby George made a royal visit to the Governor-General and Lady Cosgrove at Admiralty House, Sydney, during the second leg of their tour down under.

Kate faces William's bowling at cricket match

The Duchess of Cambridge faced hr husband's bowling during a game of cricket in Christchurch today.

ITV News Royal Editor Tim Ewart tweeted:

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