Queen hands out Maundy money

The Queen was in Oxford today where she distributed Maundy money to elderly people for their service to the community.  

She was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh for the annual Royal Maundy Service .

The service was held in Christ Church cathedral. The recipients of the Maundy money were retired pensioners recommended by clergy and ministers from all denominations.

A red purse and white purse were given to 87 men and 87 women, signifying the Queen's 87th year.

In the red purse was a £5 coin and a 50p coin commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Queen's coronation in 1953.

The white purse contained the traditional Maundy money - silver 1p, 2p, 3p and 4p pieces.  The coins were equal to 87p, again signifying her 87th year.

The tradition of distributing Maundy money goes back to the 13th century with sovereigns giving money to the poor and washing their feet.

Since the 15th century, the amount of Maundy money handed out and the number of recipients have related to the sovereign's years.