THE Queen broke with tradition and sent her annual Maundy Money to pensioners by post because of coronavirus.
She traditionally hands it out at her Maundy Thursday service at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.
But the lockdown meant the event was cancelled for the first time in her 68-year reign as she self-isolated.
Instead, she sent commemorative coins to 188 pensioners rewarded for their good work in the community.
They included 100-year-old World War Two hero Bill Allen, of Leyton, East London, and the world’s oldest bellringer, Thomas Brock, 101, of Sunbury-on-Thames, West London.
In a letter, the Queen wrote: “This ancient Christian ceremony, which reflects Jesus’ instruction to his Disciples to love one another, is a call to the service of others, something that has been at the centre of my life. I believe it is a call to service for all of us.
“It is one of my most rewarding duties as Sovereign to observe this highly significant ceremony at such an important point in the Christian calendar.”
The money included a £5 coin marking 250 years since poet William Wordsworth’s birth and a 50p coin celebrating the 2020 Olympics.
They also received 94 freshly minted silver coins.
Another recipient was Jane Armstrong, who runs youth clubs, crisis centres and food banks at her church in Bishop Auckland, Co Durham.
She said: “I’m disappointed but the ceremony couldn’t go ahead in the current situation.”
But Jane 76, added: “It was a wonderful surprise to get them (the coins) through the post.”