THE QUEEN has handed out traditional Maundy money to three Scarborough pensioners during a service at York Minister.
The monarch gace out the envelopes to Alan Thompson, 84, Jim Hume, 92, and 80-year-old Scarborough town crier Alan Booth.
At Thursday’s service, 86 women and 86 men – one for each of the Queen’s 86 years – received red and white coin filled purses.
Decorated former soldier Mr Hume, from Station Road, had fought in conflicts all over the world, as well as serving during the Second World War.
However, he said that meeting the monarch was his biggest honour to date, adding: “Meeting her really exceeded all my expectation. To see her in such close proximity was incredible.
“I was humbled, honoured and privileged to meet her. She’s truly a great woman.”
For Mr Booth, it was the second time he had met the Queen, after introducing her to the 7,000-strong crowd that welcomed her when she officially opened the Scarborough Open Air Theatre in May 2010.
Although this occasion was a much more sombre affair, he said that he felt “privileged” to be a part of what he feels is an incredibly important occasion, both historically and religiously.
“The sun was shining through and it was a glorious day. I love all the pomp and circumstance of the occasion and the Queen really is just an amazing woman,’ said Mr Booth.
“She’s only ever missed four engagements during her reign, and she works so hard for all of us.”
Mr Thompson, a retired agricultural engineer from Red Scar Drive, added that he felt honoured to be one of 172 recipients whose work for the community and the Church was recognised.
Mr Thompson said: “It was an absolutely marvellous service. Everything was beautiful. The Queen was fantastic – she didn’t speak to us but she smiled at us. It was lovely and I feel honoured.”
The Maundy Money consists of a red purse containing a £5 coin, which commemorates the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and a newly minted 50p coin.
The white purse contained uniquely minted Maundy money of silver one, two, three and four penny pieces, the sum of which equalled the Queen’s age.
Mr Thompson said: “The 50 pence piece has the Olympic logo on it. The other coins are in little plastic holders.”
The money is highly sought after by coin collectors. However, according to Mr Booth, no amount of money could force him to part with his prized possession.
“There’s a lot of people who deal in coins who would want to buy this, but these will never leave my hands.
“I will pass them down through the generations.”