© Reuters. People take part in a Big Lunch event to celebrate the coronation of Britain’s King Charles, at Gloucester Street in London, Britain, May 7, 2023. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
By Michael Holden and Alistair Smout
LONDON (Reuters) -King Charles on Sunday said he was “deeply touched” by the celebration of his coronation, which continued with street parties ahead of a concert featuring singers Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Andrea Bocelli at Windsor Castle.
Amid pomp and pageantry, Charles and his wife Camilla were crowned at London’s Westminster Abbey on Saturday in Britain’s biggest ceremonial event for 70 years.
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said Charles and Camilla were “deeply touched by the events of yesterday”.
The king and queen were “profoundly grateful both to all those who helped to make it such a glorious occasion – and to the very many who turned out to show their support in such numbers in London and further afield,” the spokesperson added.
Senior members of the family were out in force on Sunday. Charles’ heir Prince William and his wife Kate met with crowds in Windsor, ahead of the concert in the evening.
The king’s younger brother Prince Edward, his sister Princess Anne, and his nieces Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie also attended “Big Lunch” events, joining some of the estimated 50,000 street parties being held around the country.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was among those hosting a coronation lunch, with the guests including Ukrainian families, youth groups and U.S. first lady Jill Biden.
“Come rain or shine, thousands of friends and neighbours are coming together this weekend to put up the bunting, pour the tea and cut the cake at street parties and community events across the UK,” Sunak said in a statement.
Later, Charles and Camilla and other senior royals will join an audience of 20,000 members of the public and invited guests for the “Coronation Concert” at Windsor, the king’s palace to the west of London.
Among those performing will be Take That, Nigerian singer-songwriter Tiwa Savage and pianist Lang Lang, while Hollywood actor Tom Cruise, British actor Joan Collins and Winnie the Pooh will also feature.
The festivities will include a “Lighting up the Nation” event, with projections and laser displays illuminating landmarks and areas of natural beauty across the country.
Not everyone has celebrated the coronation, with anti-monarchists angered after being detained for hours on Saturday for planning to protest.
Police said they believed the protesters intended to disrupt the royal procession.
Responding to questions raised over whether the police response had been disproportionate and curtailed the right to free speech, Culture Minister Lucy Frazer said she believed the police had overall “managed to get that balance right”.