On 5th April 2012 the Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Beatrice, visited York to attend the Royal Maundy Service at York Minster and distribute the Maundy money to local pensioners.
Her Majesty was welcomed into the city by the Lord Mayor, Cllr David Horton, who later hosted a luncheon for the Royal party and selected guests in the State Room at the Mansion House. The guest list included York Community Pride winners, senior members of the council and representatives of the armed forces, as well as the Town Clerk and the Civic party.
On arrival at the Mansion House, the Royal party signed the Lord Mayor's Visitors' Book and the Queen presented a new Cap of Maintenance to the City, in a ceremony reputed to date from the reign of Richard II. This was a timely replacement for the previous Cap, which was presented by the Queen's grandfather, George V, in 1915, and had now become rather worn out and fragile. The Cap of Maintenance is an essential part of the civic regalia, worn by the Sword Bearer who accompanies the Lord Mayor on ceremonial occasions. The new Cap was made by Ede & Ravenscroft, using synthetic materials in place of the original fur. It is also slightly larger than previous versions, to accommodate the larger heads of today's sword bearers!
As York is a city famous for its history of chocolate manufacturing, a box of chocolates was considered an appropriate gift to be presented to the Queen. The chocolates were made especially for the occasion by York Cocoa House and Nestle, while the beautiful wooden box was created by York craftsmen, John Freeborn and Sons.