The special Easter gifts the Queen sent in the mail this year

By Zach Harper

Easter is one of the most important holidays on the calendar for the Queen, and this year is no exception. She's sent dozens of retirees across the United Kingdom a special gift to mark Maundy Thursday and enclosed a touching letter with each.

Dozens of people over 70 years of age receive Maundy Gifts from Her Majesty each year. These are silver coins that are given to people nominated by church dioceses where they live. The Queen typically gifts them after the service at Windsor Castle on the day that most western Christians believe Jesus had the Last Supper with his disciples.

The monarch had the coins mailed this year due to COVID-19. The annual Maundy Thursday service was cancelled at Windsor this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. She enclosed a letter with each coin, letting recipients know how important the holiday and the Maundy Gift is to her.

"This ancient Christian ceremony, which reflects Jesus's 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," she wrote. "I believe it is a call to service for all of us.

The Queen hands out Maundy money at a service in Sheffield, England in 2015. Photo: © Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

"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. I know that you, as a recipient of this year's Maundy Gift, will be as deeply concerned as I am that it is not going ahead, while understanding the necessary decision in the current circumstances.

"However, this should not mean your invaluable contribution within the community goes unnoticed, and I am sending this Maundy Gift to thank you for your Christian service.

"My thoughts and prayers are with you and your families at this difficult time."

The Queen's note echoes some of the sentiments she expressed in her TV broadcast about COVID-19 on April 5. In it, Her Majesty directly referenced her deep Christian faith when she said this difficult time we're all going through is prompting reflection from all of us.

"Across the Commonwealth and around the world, we have seen heart-warming stories of people coming together to help others, be it through delivering food parcels and medicines, checking on neighbours, or converting businesses to help the relief effort," she said. "And though self-isolating may at times be hard, many people of all faiths, and of none, are discovering that it presents an opportunity to slow down, pause and reflect, in prayer or meditation."

MORE: How Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis have been keeping in touch with the Queen while in isolation

While the Queen will be away from the rest of her Royal Family this weekend, we're sure she'll check in with them on video chat and phone, as it was recently revealed she's been doing with Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. Her loved ones mean so much to her, and since this is one of the most important times of year for the monarch, we're sure she'll find plenty of time for reflection, meditation and prayer herself over the next few days.

In this challenging time, it’s really hard to be separated from family and friends. It’s also a time when everyone needs a beautiful escape. Here at Hello! Canada, we’re still busy creating the magazine you know and love, to spread positivity and provide some entertainment as a gentle reprieve from all the hard news. And with our new special offer for subscribers, there’s never been a better time to have Hello! delivered directly to your front door. Why not treat yourself, or someone you love, today?

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