A WOMAN from Port Seton has made a royal trip to London after being selected as one of this year’s recipients of the Maundy Purse.

Dorothy Tervit was presented the purse of specially minted coins by Her Majesty The Queen at a ceremony before Easter weekend.

Dorothy, from Laburnum Avenue, told the Courier: “When the invitation came through in November, I thought it was a hoax!

“I thought ‘why on earth would Buckingham Palace be writing to me?’”

The 78-year-old, who is a member of the local community choir, the local history society and Chalmers Memorial Church, was nominated by an anonymous supporter.

The nominator has to be a Christian minister and the recipient is not allowed to know their identity, though Dorothy has some ideas.

She said: “Using the process of elimination, I could make an educated guess.

“I’m so grateful, though, as the whole experience was absolutely wonderful – a real once-in-a-lifetime moment.”

The Royal Maundy refers to the service where the British Monarch distributes small purses full of coins called Maundy money as symbolic alms to the nominated recipients. It is a ceremony thought to date back to the Middle Ages and took place at St George’s Chapel in Windsor.

The coins are presented in two leather purses, a white one containing coins to the value of the same number of pence as the years of the monarch’s age, and a red purse containing a £5 and a 50p coin.

Dorothy was one of 93 recipients. As the Queen is 93 years old, there are 93 female recipients and 93 male recipients, as well as 93 pence worth of special silver coins in one of the purses.

The other purse presented included a commemorative £5 coin marking the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birth.

Dorothy attended the ceremony last week with her husband Tom.

She added: “The Queen was so gracious, I felt undeserving. We weren’t allowed to speak to her, as per the rules, but she had such a warm smile for everyone in line for the purse.”