The Queen flies into Bury

THE Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have this morning arrived in Suffolk for the historic Maundy Money service.

Dave Gooderham

THE Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have this morning arrived in Suffolk for the historic Maundy Money service.

Crowds eager to catch a glimpse of the ruling monarch lined the streets of Bury St Edmunds as Her Majesty arrived by helicopter for the traditional pre-Easter service at St Edmundsbury Cathedral.

She landed at St James Middle School, behind the Abbey Gardens before being driven to the Cathedral. She is wearing an aqua green matching coat, dress and hat with a black feather, while the Duke is sporting a dark suit.

The Queen will give out Maundy Money to 83 men and 83 women, the number determined by the monarch's age.

The money contains a red purse containing a �5 coin, celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Accession of Henry VIII, a 50p coin to celebrate the founding of Kew Gardens and a white purse containing 83p in Maundy coins.

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All the coins have been minted in 2009.

The traditional gift dates back to the 12th century and will honour East Anglian people for their dedication to their individual communities.

An estimated 2,000 people are expected to visit the market town with an unprecedented security presence overseen by a central dedicated hub within Bury police station.

The Maundy Service has Biblical origins and echoes the story of Christ washing the feet of his disciples shortly before he died.

After the service, the Queen will then enjoy a reception at the Athenaeum.