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City prepares to welcome The Queen

Published on Wednesday, April 12, 2017

LEICESTER city centre will come alive tomorrow (Thursday, April 13) when thousands of well-wishers take to the streets to welcome Her Majesty The Queen. 

Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh are visiting the city to attend the Royal Maundy Service at Leicester Cathedral.

Her Majesty will observe the ancient tradition of handing out Maundy Money to a group of 91 men and 91 women from the local community of pensioners – the number representing her own age in years.

The Royal parade route will go through the city centre, starting at Humberstone Gate, travelling past the Clock Tower and along High Street, with the parade ending appropriately at Jubilee Square.

Her Majesty will be met by the Bishop of Leicester, the Right Revd Martyn Snow, who will take the Royal couple  into the Cathedral for the Royal Maundy Service, which begins at 11am.

Public viewing will be allowed along the entire convoy route through the city centre, although spectators can also watch on two giant outdoor screens at the Clock Tower and Jubilee Square.

The screens will also show the Royal Maundy Service inside the cathedral, as the service itself is open only to invited guests.

Visitors to the city should expect some traffic disruption due to road closures and security measures needed for the Royal visit. 

From 8pm tonight (Wednesday, April 12), a series of road closures will come into effect. Streets closed to traffic include:

• Humberstone Gate West
• Clock Tower area
• East Gates
• High Street
• Jubilee Square
• Apple Gate
• Peacock Lane, between St Martins and Apple Gate
• New Street
• Guildhall Lane

Other closures will also be in effect on the day, including Peacock Lane from St Nicholas Circle to Southgates slip road, Haymarket and a section of Churchgate, as well as a possible temporary closure at the junction of Charles Street and Humberstone Gate.

Two free Ride Leicester bike parks will be in operation at Fox Street off Humberstone Gate, and at Jubilee Square from 9am to 1pm.  The Town Hall bike park will also offer parking throughout the day for £1.

The city’s three Park and Ride services will be running, though some city centre bus services will be diverted for a short time while the Queen’s convoy passes.

The Royal visit will be the first by the Queen since her Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

During the service, The Queen will distribute ceremonial Maundy Money to 182 pensioners, who have been recommended by clergy and ministers of all denominations, in recognition for service to the church and local community.

The service will see The Queen hand each of the pensioners two purses – a red one and a white one. 

The red one contains a £5 coin, commemorating the centenary of the House of Windsor, and a 50p coin commemorating Sir Isaac Newton. The white purses contain specially-minted silver coins, totalling 91 pennies for each recipient.

Following the Royal Maundy Service, The Queen and The Duke will attend a community lunch at St Martin’s House at about 12pm.

The tradition of the monarch giving alms at Maundy dates back to the reign of King John in 1210.