The coins are legal tender but recipients normally prefer to retain them as a keepsake.  In years in which plague was rife, the monarch did not attend, sending an official, usually the Lord High Almoner, to make the distributions and perform the pedilavium. Never give up, never despair - that was the message of VE Day.  In 2011, however, as well as recipients representing Westminster Abbey, forty recipients came from the Anglican Diocese of Gibraltar in Europe, which covers continental Europe, and forty from the Diocese of Sodor and Man, which consists of the Isle of Man. We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return, Such a blend of traditions serves to make us stronger, individually and collectively, by providing the ingredients needed for social, political and economic resilience. The clothing allowance purses had been introduced in 1936; prior to that, the clothing allowance was distributed in a paper packet.
Many sets were purchased by coin dealers, others by Mint officials as gifts. In 1931 Princess Marie Louise was at Royal Maundy, and afterwards suggested that her cousin, King George V, make the distributions the following year, which he did, beginning a new royal custom.  In 1822 an amended reverse was introduced, and has been struck every year since then in all four denominations. " William IV's death at the age of 71 that year and the accession of his 18-year-old niece Victoria resulted in a dramatic drop in the number of Maundy recipients. The origin of this custom is uncertain but apparently dates from the times when provisions were distributed to the poor; some experts believe the dishes were carried high to stop the poor from grabbing at the food prematurely; others believe that the position was to prevent the congregation from being overwhelmed by the smell of fish.
After the meal, it is recorded that Jesus washed their feet, and gave them the following mandatum or command: "If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another's feet.  To evade statutory prohibitions on the striking of silver coin during the Napoleonic Wars, all Maundy pieces issued from 1800 to 1815 bear the date 1800, though most were struck later. According to Robinson, the practice of recipients being asked to sell their gifts "is of long standing".  Individual Maundy recipients have realised as much as £100 per set of four pieces by selling them on eBay. Until the joint reign of William III and Mary II, the recipients were of the same sex as the monarch.  In most years, recipients are nominated by Christian clergy of various denominations in the diocese where the service is held.  This design is still struck each year, though the crown was altered in 1888, as was the appearance of the numeral "2" on the twopence. , The original composition of the coins was sterling (0.925) silver. In response, the Royal Mint decreased the number of sets available to officials, though Royal Mint employees of long service are offered the opportunity, every few years, to purchase a set. , Today the recipients are pensioners, chosen on an interdenominational basis from various Christian churches for their service to their churches and communities. Until the 18th century the coins given were from the circulating coinage, and it was not until the latter half of the century that the four Maundy coins developed as distinct, noncirculating pieces. , The Yeomen of the Guard are present at the ceremony and serve as "Indoor Guard"; the choir of the Chapel Royal is also present. And the singing, the organ, the Queen, just everything and everybody. In 1843, The Illustrated London News described a Maundy ceremony: On the day alluded to a certain number of poor men and women, of each the exact number of our sovereign's age, attends divine worship in the Royal Chapel, Whitehall in the morning and afternoon.  For 2012, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, recipients were selected from all 44 dioceses in the United Kingdom for the service at York Minster.
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