• Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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Royals & King Charles meet and greet well-wishers ahead of coronation

Excitement for the event is already building, with royal fans camping out on The Mall, the grand boulevard leading to Buckingham Palace.

People wait to watch Britain’s King Charles’ procession to his coronation ceremony from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey, at The Mall in London, Britain May 6, 2023. (Photo: Reuters)

By: Kimberly Rodrigues

King Charles welcomed enthusiastic crowds gathering for his coronation and later hosted a reception for world leaders at Buckingham Palace on Friday (05).

The upcoming event, which will feature ancient traditions dating back 1,000 years, promises to be the largest ceremonial occasion in Britain in seven decades.

The monarch and his wife, Camilla, will be crowned at Westminster Abbey in a solemn religious ceremony, within a few hours, followed by a grand procession filled with pomp and pageantry.

Excitement for the event is already building, with royal fans camping out on The Mall, the grand boulevard leading to Buckingham Palace.

To the delight of the well-wishers, King Charles, accompanied by his eldest son Prince William and William’s wife Kate, made an impromptu walkabout, receiving cheers of “hip, hip, hurrah!” and “God save the King!” from the crowd.

Many had travelled from around the world to catch a glimpse of the royals.

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

Earlier, Charles convened with leaders from the Commonwealth of Nations, a voluntary union comprising 56 countries that he also presides over.

He hosted a luncheon for prime ministers and royal delegates from the other 14 realms where he serves as head of state, such as Australia and Canada.

Following the passing of his mother, Queen Elizabeth, at the age of 96 in September, Charles ascended to the throne by default. While the coronation is not mandatory, it is deemed an immensely symbolic occasion that bestows public recognition and legitimacy to the monarch.

Although they are lifelong republicans and not hesitant to express their views, the leaders of Australia and New Zealand will vow their loyalty to Charles during the coronation.

They were among the world leaders and dignitaries who arrived at Buckingham Palace on Friday evening for a reception hosted by the monarch and other senior members of the royal family.

Kensington Palace released a photograph of the Princess of Wales, spouse of the future king Prince William, accompanying US first lady Jill Biden and Olena Zelenska, the wife of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, at the event.

“It’s an honour to represent the United States for this historic moment and celebrate the special relationship between our countries,” tweeted Biden.

The Princess of Wales informed the gathered crowds, whom she had met earlier, that her family was “a little nervous but excited” about the upcoming “big day.”

The spontaneous royal walkabout delighted the well-wishers, who had already begun camping out to secure the best vantage points.

After meeting the king, 79-year-old Eunice Harstone stated, “All the people who said I was mad coming, I don’t care because you can’t get that on television. Words fail me. It was just lovely”.

(Reuters)

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