How the Royal Family Celebrates Easter and Why This Year Will Be Different

Many people have traditions they follow every year on Easter Sunday. Their plans can include everything from church services to egg hunts to lunches and gatherings with loved ones. Well, the royals are no different.

Britain’s most famous family has their annual traditions as well and this year the spring holiday will be extra special for Queen Elizabeth II. Here’s more on that and how the royals celebrate Easter, plus who likely won’t be with the family for the occasion.

The royal family
The royal family | James Devaney/FilmMagic

Maundy Thursday

The royals celebrate Easter at Windsor Castle and the queen usually arrives ahead of the holiday for Maundy Thursday, also known as Holy Thursday, which is the day before Good Friday.

The BBC reported that she was joined by her granddaughter, Princess Eugenie, this year at St. George’s Chapel where Her Majesty handed out coins to 93 men and 93 women. The recipients of Maundy money were given two leather purses, one red and one white.

According to the Royal Mint, this royal tradition dates back centuries.

“It seems to have been the custom as early as the thirteenth century for members of the royal family to take part in Maundy ceremonies, to distribute money and gifts, and to recall Christ’s simple act of humility by washing the feet of the poor,” the mint noted.

Queen Elizabeth and Princess Eugenie at Royal Maundy Service
Queen Elizabeth and Princess Eugenie at Royal Maundy Service | Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage

Easter Sunday and Queen Elizabeth’s birthday

This year, the family’s Easter celebration will be a little different and extra special as Queen Elizabeth’s 93rd birthday falls on that day.

The monarch will attend church in the morning as she does every year at St George’s Chapel. Following the service, she will be presented with a bouquet of flowers from local children before she heads back to Windsor Castle for a sit-down lunch. The queen will then celebrate her birthday privately with her family. The royal family’s website states that the actual day will be marked by “a 41 gun salute in Hyde Park, a 21 gun salute in Windsor Great Park, and a 62 gun salute at the Tower of London.”

In June, her birthday will be celebrated publicly with a parade known as Trooping the Colour.

Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II | Samir Hussein/WireImage

Who may not be attending

Most years the queen attends the church services with several members of her family. Last year, she was joined by many of her grandchildren and some of their spouses including Prince William and Kate Middleton, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Peter and Autumn Phillips, and Zara Tindall. This year, however, it is believed that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge won’t be present and are spending the holiday at their country home in Norfolk with their three children.

Prince Harry and Megan Markle aren’t expected to attend mass either as the Duchess of Sussex is due to give birth any day now. They will be close by though as they now live in Windsor at their new home, Frogmore Cottage.

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