An American tourist had tickets to tour Spain for six months. When he saw that the coronation of Carlos III coincided with his stay in Europe, he did not hesitate: "later I want to go to Toledo, but this is historic," he told EL MUNDO before taking a plane to London in Barajas. And it's easy to get caught up in the festive atmosphere of the coronation. As soon as the visitor gets on the metro, he hears the characteristic mind the gap but with the voice of King Carlos III, who this weekend says over the loudspeaker system to be careful when putting your foot between the car and the platform.
Already in the city hundreds of places are adorned with flags of the United Kingdom and are decorated - placing plastic flowers - for tomorrow. In Waterloo, as they approached the bridges that connect the city, the crowds increased. On Westminster Bridge several stalls sold souvenirs and in front of the Abbey, where preparations were still being finalized, a piper played God save the king. Everything was merriment and selfies, even a group from the Baptist church invited to a gospel mass to celebrate "the true king."
Although surely one of the reasons for setting May 5 as the coronation date must have been the weather, this Friday morning it was quite adverse. Suddenly, ten minutes before twelve in the morning, thunder threatened and the storm began, turning into heavy hail. None of this discouraged the hundreds of people who stand guard in Buckingham to applaud their king tomorrow.
Bartley Graham, 34, a native of Durham, left the hospital where he was admitted to be one of the first to camp on the Mall. "My health has not been the same since I had a stroke during Elizabeth II's funeral and after 30 days in line, I think it was pure exhaustion," said Graham, posing in his union jack suit next to the life-size (and almost three-dimensional) image of King Charles.
A royalist to the core, he acknowledges that one of Carlos's main challenges will be to reach young people... "But he is doing very well and I think he has surprised everyone and everyone. Camila will be a wonderful queen, the support she needs What makes me angry is Harry, he was my favorite for the succession, I like him much more than William. For me, Meghan has him by the balls... But sooner or later reconciliation will be possible, that wait".
Faith Nicholson, 61, came from Essex on Monday and was the third to camp at the entrance to the Mall for good views of Buckingham's balcony on Saturday. She is accompanied by the American Donna Werner, 71, who has captured the attention of photographers with her hat with all the royal paraphernalia. The two women met at Kate and William's wedding twelve years ago, and have been at all the big events ever since. "I couldn't come for the funeral, but I was eleven months ago at Elizabeth II's Jubilee, camping in this very space," recalls Donna, a resident of Connecticut. "I come from a republic, but I cannot understand this debate that is taking place. Who conceives of the United Kingdom without its kings and queens? It would be like erasing history."
Faith Nicholson for her part predicts a long life for the monarchy: "With Carlos the circle closes. He will be a good king because he had his mother as an unbeatable teacher. I hope he lasts many years, although with William and Kate continuity is more than guaranteed My granddaughter is fascinated with it and wants to be a "princess" when she grows up... I think that in this country she will never have enough appetite for a republic, and even less after the mess she has gotten us into all these years politicians".
More than thirty tents have been set up in the Mall since Tuesday. Dave, a Brighton retiree, assures EL MUNDO that the wait will be worth it "for sure". Together with his wife, until this Friday they have been able to organize to buy food and take walks, although they have assumed that today "no one is going to sleep", since from 6 in the morning people will be able to stand on the fences to have a place in the procession.
"I think the King is a good man, all these people you see - he says, referring to young people with reflective vests who organize trafficking - are boys who were involved in drugs or crime and who, thanks to the Foundation, have a job, that's what The press doesn't mention it, and he also cares about the environment and had to marry the love of his life at 60".
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