Dean Court had a front-row seat over royal proceedings last Thursday, as King Charles III arrived in the city to conduct the first Royal Maundy service since his ascension to the throne at York Minster.
Huge crowds lined the streets outside The Inn Collection Group’s spectacular site in the city centre to welcome the monarch for the service, which saw 74 men and 74 women from Christian congregations across the United Kingdom recognised for their services to their communities,
Continuing a tradition that can be traced back to 1210 and the Royal Distribution of King John in Knaresborough, the nominees were presented with the Maundy Money, specially struck coins to a value commensurate to the age of the monarch.
Maundy Thursday, often referred to as Holy Thursday, is one of four key dates of Christianity’s Holy Week and marks the night of the Last Supper
As well as occupying a watching brief over the pageantry taking place at the Minster, Dean Court proved to be the perfect royal appointment for guests taking part, with several nominees choosing the property as their base ahead of their presentation.
One such visitor was Mr. Tom Evans, an ordained minister from Carmarthenshire, who worked for 15 years with Christian Aid and has since retirement, been heavily involved with Cruse Bereavement Care and in establishing the Police Chaplaincy service in Dyfed Powys
Joined by his wife Marylin, the service received by the couple on arrival to Dean Court after a near five-hour journey set the tone for what proved to be a memorable experience.
Tom said: “It’s been quite a marvellous experience, an emotional, but not sentimental family occasion that I will never forget.
“We couldn’t have wished for a better place to stay, not just for the location but the warmth of the staff, every one of them.
“We arrived late after a four-and-a-half-hour drive and getting lost in the city, we were shattered. As we pulled up outside, three members of staff were on hand and by the time we got to our room we were totally settled.
“From that moment on we thoroughly our stay and we would only highly recommend the Dean Court.
“The service was very impressive with fantastic music was fantastic, the royal almonry was represented, the Yeomen of the Guard were there, it was typical British pageantry at its best.
“I always remembered the King to be taller, having met him many years ago. Either I’ve grown or he’s shrunk! But it was a very pleasant meeting the way he came around and spoke to everybody.
“He said to the person next to me ‘Where would we be, without people like you?’ because we were all in the voluntary sector doing something and it was very touching.”
Also choosing to prepare for an audience with the King with The Inn Collection Group, David Coulston was receiving his Maundy Money through his services to the Diocese in Europe, the largest diocese of the Church of England.
Formed of almost 300 congregations in over 40 countries, David has served as a member of the laity (involved with the church who are not members of the clergy) and brought his expertise to bare working with experts to develop the diocese safeguarding policies.
Nominated by the Bishop of Gibraltar, the Rt Revd Dr Robert Innes, David’s stay at Dean Court gave him the perfect setting overlooking the scene of the service, with his room offering a superb view of the Minster.
Impressed both by the Royal Maundy service at his stay, David said: “A splendid filled with little traditions that date back many hundreds of years.
“After gathering around the minster, his majesty presented each person with their purses individually whilst the choirs sang some splendid music. There were hymns, readings a very simple service during which the presentations were made.
“The whole theatre was done immensely well. The processions were structured, and the choirs were amazing, it was an experience of a lifetime.
“To have this location [Dean Court] to stay just opposite the minster, we had a room on the corner overlooking the Minster, so we were enveloped by the occasion from arrival.
“The staff were excellent; we were very well looked after including coming in at lunchtime when the hotel was incredibly busy, and Rebecca found us a table that we could enjoy lunch and reflect on the morning.”
For a third couple, Dean Court proved to be not only their base for their participation in the service, but also the venue for a significant family reunion, with far-flung members all congregating to mark Mr. Martin Moore’s nomination.
A church warden in Norfolk for more than 40 years and now succeeded by his wife, Martin was not only joined by family from across the UK, but also from Australia, with a trip reorganised after Covid disruption serendipitously landing to allow them to be part of his experience.
In all 14 members of the family came together on the evening of Maundy Thursday for a meal at Dean Court, rounding off a memorable couple of days.
Speaking on Martin’s behalf, Mrs Moore said: “It has been fabulous, we have had such a lovely time and managed to make it into a big family reunion.
“Our family in Australia were meant to visit at Christmas but had to rearrange to Easter so as they say, the lord works in mysterious ways.
“The service was so marvellous, the singing and the music. We’re staunch royalists so we found it all very moving.
“King Charles gave Martin the Maundy Money and thanked him for all he had done for the church, the organ music and the choir singing was beautiful, and everything was well organised.
“Dean Court was absolutely lovely, and we couldn’t have chosen better.”
Perfectly placed at the heart of the historic city, Dean Court is Set proudly alongside the magnificent York Minster in one of the most sought-after spots within the old city walls.
Beyond its grand exterior, the relaxed charm of this welcoming inn is perfect whether you’re dining, meeting up for drinks or looking for a comfy place to bed down in York with the best views in the city.
Close to famous attractions including the historic Shambles, Jorvik Viking Centre and the National Railway Museum, Dean Court has everything needed to eat, drink, sleep and explore in the Minster City. Click here to book your stay, today.