Foreign News: Pennies for the Poor

"Bloody Mary" was the first female sovereign to perform the ancient ceremony. She did the job thoroughly, crawling the whole length of Westminster Abbey on her knees. Her half-sister, Elizabeth I, introduced a fastidious innovation. She made sure that the yeomen of the royal laundry had washed the paupers' feet thoroughly and doused them with sweet herbs against infection before she herself laid hand or lips to them. By last week, when Elizabeth II (in her first official public appearance since the funeral of her father) performed the traditional Maundy Thursday rites, the paupers' footwashing had been reduced to the merest...

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