(London) In a tide of British flags, the excitement of witnessing a piece of history mounted on Saturday on the route of the procession that took King Charles from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey where he is to to be crowned.

Caryl Hall, 55, with a portrait of the king on his shoulders and a plastic crown on his head, said he was “enthusiastic” and welcomed the “friendly, happy and patriotic” atmosphere.

However, not far away, six anti-monarchy activists were arrested as they prepared to demonstrate against the coronation, according to protest organizers. Thirteen activists from the environmental group Just Stop Oil were also arrested near the route planned for the procession.

But these arrests do not prevent the excitement from continuing to mount on the route of the procession.

The King and Queen Consort Camilla left the palace at 5:20 a.m. EST in a procession and Charles will be crowned at 7 a.m. EST in the abbey, just before his wife.

The tents of those who spent nights there to secure a front row seat have given way to other gear: now the camping chair is king.

A few rows behind, Caryl Hall opted for a telescopic plastic stool on which she perched hours before the passage of the procession so as not to miss a beat of the show.

Arrived from Manchester (northern England) but originally from South Africa, she came with her family, including two teenagers who were nosedive from fatigue at the start of the morning to attend “this moment of history”.

Behind the barriers, the Union Jack is worn in all forms. In flags, t-shirts, hats, or even wriggling at the end of small springs mounted on a headband.

Steven Taylor, 61, opted for the bow tie, which brightens up a white shirt and a black suit.

It’s “a very special occasion”, “a very royal occasion”, enthuses his wife Phyllis, wearing an elegant floral pink dress and white hat.

For Steven Taylor, it is also an opportunity to “say goodbye to our former queen” Elizabeth II.

On the agenda for the retired couple from Glasgow, whose late arrival severely dampened their hopes of getting a good view of the show, a return to the hotel after Charles and Camilla’s outbound procession to watch the ceremony at Westminster Abbey on television.

And also lend, to respond to the controversial invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, allegiance to the king. To do this, they even prepared the text, printed and laminated: “I swear that I will swear true allegiance to your majesty, and to your heirs and successors according to law. So help me God.”

Coming from the Manchester area, Alison Marschall, 40, opted for camping seats installed at the foot of the step set back from the Mall, on the Trafalgar Square side. “A good place,” she said, sitting in a row with her children and their cousins, all dressed in the colors of the Union Jack.

“Tired but happy,” his son Ben, nods when his mother explains how important it is for them to be here, when some of his classmates aren’t “interested” in the event.

The little troop plans to rush to the Mall as soon as it opens in the hope that the aerial parade will take place, and a visit to the Tower of London on Sunday to admire the crown jewels.

When the ceremony is over, Charles III will be the 40th sovereign to have been crowned in Westminster, in a religious ceremony with a thousand-year-old ritual, but which the sovereign wanted to adapt somewhat to make it look more like the United Kingdom of today. today, with more diversity.