THERE is huge excitement around York ahead of the King's visit to the city on Thursday.

The first Royal Maundy service in the reign of King Charles III will take place at York Minster on Thursday (April 6) - and the King will be joined at the service by Her Majesty The Queen Consort.

The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, said there is "huge excitement and anticipation" ahead of the Royal visit to the city.

The Archbishop, who will welcome the King to York Minster, said: "There has been lots of preparation, as there is with any royal visit.

"A lot of people have been working very hard in the lead up to it, but they have been happy to do so as it is such a big occasion.

"It is such an honour to welcome the King to our city."

Gazette & Herald: The Archbishop of York Stephen CottrellThe Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell (Image: PA)

During the service, 74 men and 74 women, signifying the age of the Monarch, selected from Church of England dioceses across the country and Anglican and Ecumenical partners across the UK, will receive the Maundy.

Ben Morris, assistant director of music at York Minster, said the choristers are "thrilled" to have the chance to perform for the King.

Mr Morris said: "It will be the highlight of their careers. We have been preparing for weeks."

Mr Morris, who has been in the role for seven years, will be playing the organ during the Maundy service on Thursday.

Gazette & Herald: An artist's impression of the York Minster RefectoryAn artist's impression of the York Minster Refectory (Image: UGC)

Following the service at the Minster, the King will then make his way over to formally open the York Minster Refectory restaurant, located in the former site of The Minster School

The Royal couple will tour restaurant and its grounds - with the King unveiling a plaque celebrating the visit and the opening.

Joshua Brimmell, executive chef at the Refectory restaurant, said it will be a "special day for everyone".

Mr Brimmell said: "It has been all hands on deck in the final push to Thursday.

"There is a lot of excitement around the place. It's a fantastic opportunity to help us generate interest as well.

"The restaurant looks special inside, there are a lot of nods to the former school."

Joshua said both he and Andrew Pern, the Michelin starred chef who he is overseeing the development of the menu and all food and hospitality functions alongside, have prepared a number of Royal-themed canapes to be served during a drinks reception for the King on Thursday.

Ahead of the opening, Andrew said: "I am a passionate supporter of the Royal Family and having the York Minster Refectory opened by the King and the Queen Consort will undoubtedly go down as one of the highlights of my career."