Monarchy: Britons celebrate coronation with street parties

The party continues as tens of thousands of people across the UK celebrate the coronation of King Charles III with street parties and tea parties.

Monarchy: Britons celebrate coronation with street parties

The party continues as tens of thousands of people across the UK celebrate the coronation of King Charles III with street parties and tea parties. and Queen Camilla. Royal Family officials also wanted to attend some Coronation Big Lunch events. A star-studded concert is planned for the evening at Windsor Castle.

With cover photos and numerous special pages, British newspapers honored the first coronation of a monarch in 70 years. Up to 20.4 million people in the country watched the ceremony on TV - significantly fewer than at the state funeral of Charles' mother Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022, when 26.5 million tuned in. Millions of people also saw the big event in Germany.

Restricted right to demonstrate

However, the jubilation was also mixed with displeasure at the arrest of several opponents of the monarchy during the celebrations. MPs expressed concern. The head of the Republic organization, Graham Smith, was released from custody after 16 hours on Sunday night, but his mobile phone was confiscated. He criticized that there was no longer a right to peaceful protest in Great Britain.

The conservative government recently restricted the right to demonstrate again. Now the police have a suspicion that there could be significant disturbances as a reason for arrests. In total, the London police arrested 52 people during the celebrations - according to activists in many cases without reason. Operations manager Karen Findlay, on the other hand, defended the procedure as proportionate, and government officials also praised the police for “balanced” behavior.

Churches across the country can take part in part of the coronation ceremony. The score for the specially written coronation anthem by the British star composer Andrew Lloyd Webber has been distributed to 6000 churches. They can now play "Make A Joyful Noise" at their services. The composition, which premiered after the coronations in Westminster Abbey, was an "antidote" to his son's death from cancer a few weeks ago, Lloyd Webber told Channel 4 TV.

Flowers on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

As the palace announced, Queen Camilla's coronation bouquet was laid at her request in the famous London church on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which symbolizes the British World War II dead. The bouquet of English spring flowers includes auricula and lily of the valley – both featured in the Queen's wedding bouquet in 2005 – and hellebore, which the king wore in his buttonhole at the time. Camilla didn't hold the flowers at the ceremony.

The lightning visit of Prince Harry, Charles' younger son, to his old homeland also caused a stir on Sunday. The 38-year-old landed back in Los Angeles on Saturday evening (local time), as reported by several media. One reason for the quick return: Harry's son Prince Archie also celebrated his fourth birthday on Saturday. Mother Duchess Meghan therefore stayed at home in California with Archie and Lilibet (almost 2).

Harry and Meghan, who left royal duties years ago, have repeatedly criticized the palace in general and Harry's brother Prince William and stepmother Queen Camilla in particular. The fifth heir to the throne attended the coronation in Westminster Abbey. But he was no longer there when the royal family waved to the fans from the palace balcony.

Street festivals against loneliness

At the "Big Lunch" on Sunday, the king's youngest brother, Prince Edward (59), and his wife Duchess Sophie (58) were expected in Cranleigh. Charles' sister Princess Anne (72) and husband Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence (68) were announced in Swindon. At the "Big Lunch" people meet for a banquet on the street. The street festivals have been celebrated since 2009 and are intended to promote contacts between neighbors and combat loneliness. It also collects for charity.

In the evening a spectacular coronation concert with music stars was planned at Windsor Castle. 20,000 people are expected to attend. Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, Andrea Bocelli and former boy band Take That are expected to perform at the Coronation Concert organized by the BBC. The concert will be rounded off with a laser show and light drones in the sky.