Charles's day of destiny: London streets packed with royal well-wishers ahead of historic Coronation procession

6 May 2023, 09:03 | Updated: 6 May 2023, 09:20

Crowds have gathered around the Palace and Westminster Abbey ahead of the King's Coronation
Crowds have gathered around the Palace and Westminster Abbey ahead of the King's Coronation. Picture: Alamy

By Adam Solomons

Crowds have gathered across central London to watch the King's Coronation, with hundreds sleeping overnight in tents on The Mall.

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Well-wishers have arrived from around the world to join politicians and A-listers ahead of the first crowning since 1953.

The ceremony, overseen by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, will begin at 11am on Saturday.

King Charles will then return to Buckingham Palace, where a flypast will take place at 2.30pm.

Politicians including Keir Starmer and Ed Davey have arrived at Westminster Abbey.

A-listers including Emma Thompson and Nick Cave have also been spotted at the venue.

Read more: 'I come not to be served but to serve': Charles echoes late Queen's words as Order of Service for Coronation is revealed

Read more: Coronation of King Charles III order of service - follow in full

Police horses patrol the Mall ahead of the King's Coronation
Police horses patrol the Mall ahead of the King's Coronation. Picture: Alamy

Both royals have found themselves out in the cold after falling out with King Charles.

Andrew's relationship with his brother reportedly hit an all-time-low last month after the Duke of York refused to leave his £30 million Royal Lodge.

Harry will also make only a quick stopover for his father's crowning, with the Duchess of Sussex and the couple's children staying behind in California.

Excitement builds ahead of the Coronation at 11am
Excitement builds ahead of the Coronation at 11am. Picture: Alamy

An event that's set to be watched by millions around the world, the traditional and heavily religious service will see Charles pledge to follow the “example” set by Jesus.

It follows the news The King has approved toning down of 'the homage' by Buckingham Palace and Lambeth Palace - an uncharacteristic addition which provoked widespread public dismay.

Charles will become the 40th reigning monarch to be crowned at Westminster Abbey, with 4,000 servicemen and women will take part in the royal procession from the abbey back to Buckingham Palace - 10,000 across the day's events.

The Coronation is an ‘apotheosis of a Monarch’, says Royal expert Sally Bedell Smith

The royal family are then set to step out onto the balcony.

The Archbishop of Canterbury confirmed the coronation will “link us in a profound way with our national story” as he predicts people will be “struck by the majesty and sacred wonder” of the ceremony.

After leaving the palace at 10:20, guests from 203 countries - including around 100 heads of state - will be awaiting the couple's arrival in Westminster Abbey.

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