Queen gives gifts to community heroes

THE Queen has handed out a traditional monetary gift to more than 160 people across East Anglia during a historic service at Suffolk's mother church.

Dave Gooderham

THE Queen has handed out a traditional monetary gift to more than 160 people across East Anglia during a historic service at Suffolk's mother church.

Hundreds of people packed into the majestic St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds for the Maundy Money service which can trace its origins back to the 12th century.

As public lined the historic town streets in a bid to see the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, 83 men and women received two purses of money during the ceremony - in recognition of each individual's work in their own community.

During the highly traditional service - which included a procession of the Yeomen of the Guard, Suffolk dignitaries and religious leaders - the Queen walked to each community stalwart, one-by-one, and carefully handed them the gifts.

While many simply bowed graciously or simply whispered thank you as she walked to the next person, 94-year-old Betty Curtayne, from Bury, briefly enjoyed a conversation with Her Majesty.

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Ms Curtayne said: “The Queen asked me about my work with the Quakers and I told her I had written a history book on them. She said it sounded very interesting. It was very exciting and a wonderful experience.”

Keep checking this website throughout the day for more updates and reaction on the Queen's visit to Suffolk.

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