Protesters can't spoil crowds' thrill for coronation

The National was on Whitehall to watch the procession

Princess Charlotte, Prince George and Prince Louis sit in a coach as the procession leaves Westminster Abbey following the coronation ceremony of King Charles III and Queen Camilla. AP
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The rain came down as the cheers rang out on Whitehall.

On Saturday afternoon, at 12.02, King Charles III was finally crowned, marking the moment he had spent a lifetime preparing for. And the crowds who had turned out in the pouring rain clapped and cheered in celebration.

Many had been there for hours, arriving at their position on the approach to Westminster Abbey long before they would spot the king.

Newly crowned King Charles III and Queen Camilla pass The National on Whitehall

Newly crowned King Charles III and Queen Camilla pass The National on Whitehall

For much of the morning, the weather was fairly pleasant, but the sky soon began to darken and the first drops started to fall just before 9am.

But the first bit of excitement would be nothing to do with the royals.

A commotion developed in the crowd behind the Women of Second World War monument as a Just Stop Oil protester was searched and escorted away.

But soon after, the first members of the procession passed, signifying the royal couple were on their way.

And then they arrived.

The king and queen’s coach, flanked by dozens of horses, passed to huge cheers. Queen Camilla, sitting on left hand side of the coach, waved to the waiting crowds.

The mobile phone service was patchy, meaning few could watch the proceedings.

But as the ceremony got under way, the sound from the service inside the abbey blasted through speakers, allowing the public to hear what was happening as they watched members of the vast military line up to lead the procession from the abbey to Buckingham Palace.

The crowd remained quiet until the gun salute sounded and the words God Save the King were spoken, prompting shouts and cheers on Whitehall.

Then the national anthem rang out and the king and queen were again on their way.

Hundreds of military staff passed, marching to upbeat brass band tunes before soldiers of the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards came into view again, walking in orderly lines.

Cheers rang out as the gold coach came into view, with the king and queen waving from inside.

Britain's main anti-monarchist movement protests on coronation day

Britain's main anti-monarchist movement protests on coronation day

The Prince and Princess of Wales and their three children followed in the coach behind, as Prince Louis and Prince George waved to the crowds.

Next was a coach carrying the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, followed by a procession of other royals in coaches and cars.

And with that, as the rain finally abated, the royals continued on to the palace, and the public dispersed.

The coronation of King Charles III - in pictures

Updated: May 08, 2023, 7:15 AM