On eve of coronation, King Charles mingles with everyday Britons

by Will Tubbs


Britain’s King Charles and his son William greeted well-wishers outside Buckingham Palace in central London on Friday, a day before Charles’ formal coronation ceremony.

Charles left the palace gates in his royal car before stopping halfway down the Mall, where fans are camping out ahead of Saturday’s ceremony.

Shaking hands with smiling spectators, he was met with cheers of “hip, hip, hooray!” and “God save the King!” along the grand avenue leading to the palace, which will be a central part of a procession route on Saturday.

“No school?” Charles joked to one child in the crowd who shook the King’s hand. “You’ve done very well.”

One military veteran saluted Charles while others told the King where they had come from: the Netherlands, Poland, the Gambia and Pakistan were among the variety of nationalities represented in the crowd.

William, who was accompanied by his wife Kate, chatted and posed for selfies with members of the public.

“I remember, when I was in here for my wedding, I could hear you all singing outside,” William told a group of women draped in Britain’s Union Jack camping out along the Mall. “So, I’m sure you’ll all keep each other going tonight.”

“There is not much sleeping going on, I hear,” he told another woman, referring to the people staying in tents who have created a party atmosphere despite heavy downpours. “I pray you guys stay dry.”

On Thursday, the couple took the tube to a London pub where they met regulars, publicans and business owners in another publicity event before the coronation.

Copyright 2023 Thomson/Reuters