Students join crowds to welcome The Queen to Leicester for Maundy Thursday service1

Cheers rang out as flag-waving crowds welcomed Her Majesty The Queen to Leicester today for the Royal Maundy service.

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And among the excited onlookers were some of DMU’s international students who had been up early to bag a spot in Jubilee Square, which was the official viewing point for people to see the Royal convoy arriving at Leicester Cathedral.

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A giant TV screen was set up in Jubilee Square so people could watch the traditional Maundy Thursday service.

People began arriving as early as 6.30am to get a spot for the service, which was set to begin at 11am.

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Some of DMU’s Chinese students were even able to broadcast live to China so they could share the special occasion with friends and family.  

Lucy Xia said: “It’s been special for me because in the two years I have been in Leicester I have seen the football club success and today I have seen the Queen. It is amazing.”

Ena Wang, who is a Business and Management student at DMU, said: “I have been so excited about today. She is the most lovely queen in the world.”

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Daisy Kiptoo, from Kenya, and Fatima Mohammed, from Nigeria, are both Master’s students. They arrived at 8an to get a spot and cheered as the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh drove past in a chauffeured Bentley.

Inside the cathedral was the Rev Hilary Surridge, DMU’s Anglican chaplain, who had been invited as a member of the congregation.

She said attending the Royal Maundy service had been a “wonderful experience”. 
She said: “I didn’t think I would get to see them in the cathedral and then the crowds parted and there was the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. It was such a moving service.”

The Queen, dressed in a bright teal suit and hat, and the Royal party were given special nosegays designed by florist Rosy Hughes, of Hamilton, Leicester.

During the hour-long service, 91 men and 91 women - all senior citizens who have dedicated themselves to the church or community work – were presented with special Maundy coins in recognition of their public service.

Among them was Councillor Ted Cassidy, former Mayor of Leicester who was a member of staff at DMU for nearly 30 years.

The last time The Queen visited Leicester was in 2012, when she chose to begin her Diamond Jubilee celebrations in the city.  The first place that she visited was DMU.
 
The Royal Maundy service has been hosted in all Cathedrals across the country during the Queen’s reign, apart from Leicester Cathedral.

Canon Alison Adams, Sub-Dean, said before the ceremony: “Her Majesty The Queen visited us at the start of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations and we are proud to welcome her back. This will be a great celebration of faithful service to the community from both the City and County of Leicester.”

Posted on: Thursday 13 April 2017

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