Thousands of people continue to flock to London for the coronation of Charles III on Saturday. A historic moment that many, including Quebecers, would not want to miss for anything in the world. But on the spot, the event is far from unanimous when the country is facing a major economic crisis.

“There are so many things going on at night, like rehearsals. You don’t see that if you don’t sleep here. These are the small advantages even if you have to lie down on the floor, “jokes Cynthia Price, a Quebecer who came to London especially for the occasion.

Like others, she has decided to spend several nights under the stars, on a camping chair near the Mall, the avenue where the procession between Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey will take place on Saturday. “They’re going to take out the golden carriage, it’s going to be crazy. I have always followed the royal family, our roots come from here, it is a unique experience to live! »

To keep her company until the coronation, other friends, including an American she met at a previous royal event. She, too, is feverish, but she hopes all will go well on Saturday, when the anti-monarchist movement Not my King! plans to protest and disrupt the event. “There will always be criticism anyway, but I don’t think coronation day is the time to do that,” Werner said.

They are now several dozen people camping along the huge avenue to be closer to the event. In the early morning, some are still wrapped up in sleeping bags, while others are dressed in colorful outfits bearing the image of the royal family. Mary Foster, a Quebecer who has lived in London for almost ten years, is also camping in a tent, decorated with dozens of Canadian flags.

“It doesn’t happen every day, it’s a once in a lifetime event,” says the one who over the years has attended multiple royal events.

A true enthusiast, neither the weather forecast, which announces bad weather on Saturday, nor the arrest of a man in possession of a knife, earlier this week, scares her. “I don’t want to miss it for the world,” said the Montreal native. The monarchy has done so much for the country and the Commonwealth. The king is so passionate, plus he speaks French! »

The more the hours go by, the more the decorations with the effigy of the new king become visible everywhere in London. A large police presence is already in place, as one street after another begins to close to traffic. Meanwhile, an iconic London red double-decker bus tries to make its way.

Specially transformed and decorated for the coronation, the bus offers tours of the city devoted to royalty. All accompanied by English tea and small snacks, including a chocolate biscuit, which would be the favorite of the new king. “We wanted to provide a truly royal experience. The menu was specially created by Grant Harrold, Charles III’s former butler. He gave us little secrets about what the royal family likes,” says Jean-Philippe Boriau, spokesperson for Brigit’s Bakery, who is behind the idea.

Since last week, the bus has been busy. Several times a day, it transports dozens of people. The opportunity to breathe new life into the company, in a difficult economic context, a consequence of Brexit and the war in Ukraine. “All events related to the Royal Family attract thousands of people and have an impact on the local economy. It is also an opportunity to celebrate, but above all to forget these last dark years,” explains Jean-Philippe Boriau.

In the surroundings of Buckingham Palace few are those who will not attend the coronation of Charles III. But the event is far from unanimous in the country. “Why is there so much noise and money being spent, when we are not even able to pay our nursing staff properly?” Asks Karly, in front of Westminster.

Media such as the BBC and The Guardian have argued that the coronation could cost up to twice as much as that of Elizabeth II. The Mirror even put the figure at £250million, five times the cost of the Queen’s coronation. These sums shock the British who can no longer make ends meet. But for this Elizabeth, the monarchy is not responsible.

“We’re all hit by the economic situation, but I don’t think we’re there because of the monarchy. They have always been there for us, unlike the politicians who let us down, ”thinks this Londoner.

Our chat on the coronation of Charles III on Saturday, starting at 6 a.m. at