Cheers to the new King of England, King Charles III! As co-hosts of the Royally Obsessed podcast, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to witness the new monarch’s coronation in person—the first in 70 years. No, we didn’t camp out along the Mall (in-the-know Londoners told us the crowds were actually bigger than the Queen’s Jubilee!), but we did snag a prime viewing spot in Green Park in close proximity to Buckingham Palace, where we had a chance to witness Brits’ true feelings on the occasion. (We also got poured on by some quintessential British weather, but that’s how it goes.) Here, five things that stood out to us about the experience.
We Attended the Coronation of King Charles III in London—Here Are 5 Things That Caught Our Royal Eye
1. Princess Anne Is the Real Royal Star
For anyone who watched, you saw it: Princess Anne had an extra-special role in the proceedings as the younger (and only) sister of King Charles. This relationship earned her the position of Colonel of the Blues and Royals in the Household Cavalry regiment, and as Gold Stick in Waiting on Coronation Day—also known as the original close protection officer. (As she told CBC News earlier this week, there was an added bonus: “It solves my dress problem.”) But that’s just it: Even amidst all the pomp, the crowds seemed to swell extra loud with delight any time Anne was in sight. To us, it rang clear that, amongst Londoners, she’s an incredibly respected member of the royal fam. Of course, the Waleses were the only ones to match Anne—the crowd erupted with glee every single time Prince William and Kate Middleton appeared.
2. King Charles III’s Love for Queen Camilla Rings True
Emo Charles is what we’re calling it: The king appeared fairly expression-less throughout the proceedings, which isn’t meant to be a ding. (After all, the gravity of the occasion meant seriousness was apropo.) Still, when Queen Camilla was crowned, Charles looked quite emotional. Dare we say that tears welled in his eyes? It makes sense given that he and Camilla have been married for 18 years, but their courtship infamously goes back long before that. (Cough, Diana, cough.) Bottom line: Through thick and thin, Charles has been in love with Camilla since the moment they met and it’s been a long journey to get to today. No wonder this was the moment when it all seemed to feel surreal for the royal pair. (The Brits around us got emotional, too.)
3. Back to Diana: Her Presence Is Still Very Much Felt
From Kate’s diamond and South Sea pearl earrings (beloved by Diana) to conversations with royal well-wishers all around London, Princess Diana was a focus throughout the week, whether the monarchy likes it or not. Of course, she’s still a royal draw and a big one at that. Even merch shops worked to capitalize on the interest—wherever you saw Charles, you often saw Diana strategically positioned peering down at him from the side of a tea tin. (They know their audience, that’s for sure.) There’s more: The words Queen Camilla led many long-term royal watchers (read: Diana fans) to reflect on all the royal bumps and bruises that led to this moment and an image they never dreamed they’d see the sight of—Camilla being crowned.
4. Prince Harry Seemed Content in Cousin Corner
When it comes to the American point of view, many a Brit wanted to know our thoughts on Prince Harry. Our royal take? He seemed pretty self-possessed at Westminster Abbey and, even though he wasn’t seated in a prime position—and was often obstructed by Anne’s feather in her cap—he appeared happy to be by his cousins’ and their spouses’ sides. (Did you see his pleasant-looking chit chat with Jack Brooksbank and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi?)
5. The Brits Love to Downplay the Weather
This entire week, London has been showing off with blue skies and relatively warm temps—no umbrella required. That is, until the day of the coronation when the skies absolutely opened up. At first, it was a drizzle; then it was a downpour. But if you listened to any of the broadcasters describing the elements, they referred to it as “slightly damp” or explained it away with “the weather today hasn’t been entirely kind.” Real talk: The smartest coronation attendees had wellies, raincoats, ponchos and umbrellas. But it also might be a good omen: It rained at Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953 and at the coronation of her father, King George VI in 1937.