King Charles Coronation: King and Queen Consort have final rehearsal at Westminster Abbey

The King and Queen Consort arrived at Westminster Abbey on Friday morning local time for a final rehearsal ahead of the coronation.

King Charles waved from the car window as he arrived.

Police outriders on motorcycles arrived ahead of the royal motorcade.

A crowd of onlookers had gathered at a metal barrier outside the Abbey in drizzling rain to catch a glimpse of Charles and Camilla.

King Charles has waited more than 70 years for this moment, but today he will be officially crowned monarch in what is promising to be a “jaw dropping” show.

Following several dress rehearsals, which have been declared a success, the stage is set for one of the most significant historical events of the century.

The King’s Coronation is a scaled-back version of the one the late Queen Elizabeth had in 1953, but will still include plenty of pomp and ceremony, as well as some new elements to reflect a modern and diverse Britain.

The Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, who did a full dress rehearsal with the royals at Westminster Abbey, will handle the Coronation crown on the day and has been practising the manoeuvre to ensure when the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby puts it on the King’s head, its facing the right way.

The dean described the ceremonial dress and Crown Jewels being used as “extraordinary” and the music, which includes a new “hummable” piece composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, as “spine-tingling”.

“I’m used to ceremony on a national level,” the dean told Sky News. “Even I think this is pretty jaw-dropping.”

Australian violin virtuoso Madeleine Easton, who will be performing, said the King confessed to her several years ago he listens to her music “to stay sane” when the pressures of his life become too much.

She will play to 2300 guests at Westminster Abbey — including royals, World leaders, including Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, and ordinary people, who have done extraordinary things — as well as the 300-million fans watching on TVs around the world.

Future king George, nine, has the duty of being one of his grandfather’s pages of honour.

The Prince of Wales will kneel before his father and vow to be his “liege man of life and limb” in the only homage of royal blood of the ceremony.

Those watching and listening at home or elsewhere will be invited to also pledge their allegiance from their sofas or in the pub, with publicans expecting a bonanza weekend.

The King and his wife Queen Camilla, who will also be crowned today, will travel to and from the abbey in carriages and will be cheered by crowds along the route.

To the nearly 1.2-million people taking public transport to line the procession route, Charles and the Queen recorded an announcement to be played at every railway station across the UK and all Tube stations.

In the message, the King tells passengers: “My wife and I wish you and your families a wonderful coronation weekend … and remember, please mind the gap.”

Ahead of the big day, the monarch held a luncheon for ‘Realm Governors General and Prime Ministers’ at Buckingham Palace.

Mr Albanese, who attended, earlier met many of the 14 “outstanding” Australians who will accompany him at the Coronation.

Professor Merryn Voysey, who helped develop the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, said she couldn’t believe “little old me” had been invited and would Facetime her proud mother-in-law Vivienne in Brisbane before the ceremony.

“Vivienne was a little girl at the time in the streets watching the Queen’s coronation and she cannot believe I’ve actually got a golden ticket to Westminster Abbey to see the King get crowned close up on the day,” said Ms Voysey.

“I’m humbled and very grateful to be going. Yes, I helped develop the vaccine, but it’s just little old me from Sydney. I never dreamed I’d ever get the call to go to something this big.”

Comedian, presenter, writer and disability rights advocate Adam Hills MBE said he “won’t be star struck”.

“I’ll be fangirling everyone, I’ve met these guys before, I’ve met Prince Harry twice before, when I see him, I’ll give him a wink, and Charles knows me, he’s a very funny man himself,” said the host of British comedy show The Last Leg.

“I’ll be the one whispering in the Abbey, ‘look there’s Macron, oh look, there’s Lionel Richie’.”

Mr Albanese, who has twice this week committed to getting rid of the monarchy, also met Prince William at Kensington Palace, regifting him a box of lamingtons he had been given at a London restaurant an hour earlier.

He extended an open invitation to the Prince and members of the royal family to visit Australia.

Earlier, the Wales’ took the tube to visit the Dog and Duck in Soho, where William poured a “perfect pint’.

Princess Catherine, who was wearing patriotic colours of red, white and blue, chatted happily to people in the crowd, saying Prince George was “excited”.

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Thousands of members of our armed forces, taking part in the largest military ceremonial operation for 70 years, are also excited.

“I’m looking forward to marching down the Mall, in particular,” 33-year RAAF veteran Warrant Officer Ivan Petrovic, of Bathurst, NSW, said, after a final rehearsal.

“Then at the end there when we’re in Buckingham Palace, in the grounds and behind the palace, we will give three cheers to the King and Queen. And that will be nice and loud.”

One aspect of the day that is in jeopardy because of the expected cloudy and wet weather, is the fly-past.

More than 60 aircraft from the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force – including the Red Arrows – are scheduled to fly over The Mall and Buckingham Palace after the service.

Across the city, pictures of the King and crowns have appeared on buildings, shop windows have been decorated to mark the occasion and even post boxes have been covered in royal-themed decorations thanks to busy crocheters.

Originally published at

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