Royal fans pour into the Mall for Coronation procession today

Royal fans pour into the Mall for Coronation procession today

May 7, 2023

Ready for our King’s big day! Tens of thousands of royal fans pour into London and the Mall to get a front row view of the historic Coronation procession today

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Tens of thousands of royal fans poured into the Mall early this morning to try and get a front row view of the historic Coronation procession.

Wave upon wave of spectators attempted to secure a spot to watch the procession from Buckingham Palace, with crowds ten or more people deep building hours before proceedings are due to get underway.

While some sprinted to try and bag a spot at the front of the metal barriers others walked calmly until they found the best place to view King Charles and Camilla as they journey in the Diamond Jubilee coach en route to Westminster Abbey for the Coronation.

In typical British fashion there was no pushing or shoving as the royal supporters, many decked out in red white and blue hurried to their chosen position.

Die-hard royal fans who had been camping along The Mall and bagged prime positions were told to take down their tents to make more room for newcomers.

Over a hundred thousand royal supporters are expected to line the procession route from the Palace to Westminster Abbey.

As dawn broke over London many royal fans bagged a spot on steps close to Admiralty Arch and were happy to sit and wait for the procession to begin.

Big screens are ready to show live coverage of the event to royal fans in Hyde Park

Tens of thousands of royal fans poured into the Mall early this morning to try and get a front row view of the historic Coronation procession

Decked out in their patriotic best, keen royal fans arrived in London early today 

Crowds ten people deep appeared on the Mall before 8am this morning, with people trying to get the best view of the King’s procession

As dawn broke over the Mall the die hard fans who had camped out for several nights emerged – exhausted by excited

Popping the prosecco already! Royal fans up first thing this morning managed to secure a great picnic spot in front of the Hyde Park big screen

Made up to be here: One young fan even donned Union Jack lipstick for the occasion 

Enthusiasts – one dressed as Charles – queued for breakfast near The Mall today

A royal fan – bedecked in Union Jack flags – waits to watch Britain’s King Charles’ procession to his coronation ceremony

Marshalls in high viz jackets controlled the numbers of people entering the area to avoid crushing but huge queues quickly built up at the entrance points to The Mall.

There were angry scenes as people were turned away from joining those massed against metal barriers having been told the viewing area was full.

One woman was close to tears as she pleaded to be allowed through to join friends – eventually barging past contractors forming a line on the pavement.

By 7am crowds either side of The Mall were 15 deep with spectators. The array of tents that had sprung up close to Buckingham Palace had been taken down and replaced by royal fans.

Concession stands selling bacon rolls did a roaring trade while the queue for a mobile coffee shop stretched more than 50 yards.

One royal mega fan wore a pop art t-shirt depicting the ‘boss’ – King Charles III – ahead of his crowning as King

Excitement is clearly building on the Mall, with one royal fan looking overwhelmed as he waved flags depicting King Charles

Many of those in the crowd took selfies with those decked out in brightly coloured outfits as a memento.

Werner Marx drew attention with his Union Jack suit while Carmel Flynn who had her face painted red, white and blue happily posed with other royal fans.

Police were cheered and clapped as they walked along The Mall to take up position ahead of the procession due to leave Buckingham Palace at 10.20am

Friends Carol Sakundiak and Debbie Shimming flew from their home in Canada and were eagerly awaiting the start of the procession.

‘This is our first ever visit to the UK and we just wanted to be here to show our support for the Royal family. There is such a great atmosphere and we are thrilled to be here’

Alongside them Lorraine Wright and Jane Sheldon stood out with glittering gold crowns.

The friends from Northamptonshire handed round cakes to friends having bagged a spot on the front step alongside the Institute of Contemporary Arts.

‘We were planning to get closer on The Mall but sitting here we have a great view’ said Lorraine.

Many in the crowds were decked out in a riot of colour- mostly a patriotic red, white and blue.

Bringing out the bunting: Royal fans wearing paper crowns getting ready on the Mall

Ready and waiting in their Union Jack blankets, crowns and make up

Royal enthusiasts set off early to get a good spot this morning

Among them Chris France and Sue Merrills who wore matching multi coloured wigs.

‘It is just great to be part of such a special occasion, said Chris who had travelled from her home in Telford.

Mum and daughter Sue and Sandra Winder from Stoke on Trent wore outfits of red white and blue they had worn at Prince William’s wedding 12 years ago.

Charles and Camilla spent the night at Clarence House before transferring to Buckingham Place to step into the Diamond Jubilee State coach which was carved from oak from HMS Victory, the flagship of Sir Admiral Nelson.

Royal fans Derek Nelson, from Harrow, west London, said he had got the first underground train into central London.

The 54-year-old said he had been determined not to miss the royal occasion.

‘I wasnt feeling too good with a cold, but am really made up to be here.

‘This is a one off, and probably the only coronation I will see in my lifetime. It’s special to be here and even though I had an early start I would not want to miss it.

‘It is nice being among so many like-minded people. I really do think there is a great affection for Charles and it is going to be spectacular.’

Members of the public getting in the party mood in Hyde Park 

Willie Adams, 41, was with his wife Julie and said they had carefully planned where to stand and watch the procession.

‘We decided to avoid too close to the Palace as everyone will want to see them on the balcony, and I think that will just be too busy.

‘We went to the Queen’s funeral which was of course very sad, so this is great that it will be a happy occasion. All the pomp and ceremony will be such a wonderful sight to see. Its what this country does best.’

As dawn broke over the Mall the die hard fans who had camped out for several nights emerged – exhausted by excited.

Pat McDonald, 52, from Loughborough, said:’ It has been very tiring but once I’ve had my first cup of coffee, I will feel much better.

‘People were so excited last night we did not get much sleep, but we can always rest afterwards. This is a moment in history and not one I would want to miss.

‘When I see Charles and Camilla I’ll be waving a cheering. It will be special to see them wave back.’

People began setting up camp in Hyde Park early this morning with tents and camping chairs 

The biggest concern for many of those who had camped out was that their view might be blocked by one of the 11,000 police officers on duty as they take their place on The Mall.

The minicamp city that had sprung up was quickly disassembled with no sign of the blue tarpaulins that many had sheltered under when they were hit by a sudden downpour on Friday afternoon.

Diane Thompson, 63, an operations manager for a food factory has been camping on The Mall for two days.

Wearing a patriotic Union flag suit, topped off with red, white and blue wig, she said: ‘It’s makes you proud to be British, nobody does pomp and ceremony quite like us.

‘I’m looking forward to seeing the Royal Family all together today.

‘This is a once in a lifetime event, most of us have never witnessed a Coronation before so it’s a day to remember.

‘I’m sure the Queen is somewhere looking down on Charles with pride.’

Ms Thompson said the atmosphere on The Mall over the last few days had been ‘wonderful’ although there was a ‘tense’ situation this morning when the road opened and crowds pushed forward.

She added: ‘There was a steady build of people as soon as they opened The Mall and there was a lot of pushing forward and a few tempers frayed.

‘But overall the atmosphere has been wonderful, we’ve made friends from all around the World. We’ve met so many Americans who have travelled here for the Coronation and French…which is strange when you think what they did to their own monarchy!’

Friends Gillian Anderson 39 and Deborah Imber, 45, have also been camping out on The Mall.

Wearing a crown, Ms Imber, from West London, said:’It’s going to be a spectacular day, the weather is holding out so far and there’s everyone from every corner of the world in London for this.

‘I really hope to catch a glimpse of the Coronation carriage, that’s what I’ve been really excited about.

‘But everything about today will be magnificent, it’s one of those occasions that you’ll remember all your life.

‘King Charles will be fantastic, long may he reign!’

Ms Anderson added: ‘We’ve met people from South Africa, America, France and Kent. The Coronation has brought people together from all over the world.

‘We are reall lucky to have such pagentry and we do it so well.’

John Hemmant, 63, a winemaker from Norfolk said: ‘My son is a Royal Marine reserve and will be marching 20 mins behind the King so we hope to get a picture of him as he comes past.

‘I’ve a great deal of time for Charles, he was

foremost in changing the way we farm if you think back to his pursuit in making Highgrove completely organic many years ago.

‘His stance on conservation has been well ahead of the curve and if he can have any influence on government attitudes toward global warming then I think that will be an incredible achievement.

Mr Hemmant, wearing a Union-flag waistcoat and top hat, added: ‘An event like this brings people together from all walks of life and backgrounds.

‘We’ve come through some tough times as a country so today will be a celebration of Britain I think.’

Mary-Jane Willows from Cornwall said she had been camping out on The Mall for five days and four nights.

She said: ‘ I think the moment the King, Queen and the Royal family step out on the Buckingham Palace balcony for their first appearance will be an amazing point in history.

‘Charles brings a new era carrying forward all the many positives from Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth reign with his passion for youth, the environment and championing UK businesses.

‘He’s passionate about the Commonwealth so will grow and develop the importance of Unity. He will be a great King.’

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