Let the banquets begin! PM holds Big Lunch on Downing St
Let the banquets begin! PM holds Big Lunch on Downing St as he leads millions across the nation celebrating the King’s Coronation with street parties – as Brits share their pictures of cakes and quiche
- Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is holding a Big Lunch at Downing Street with his wife for the coronation
- Read more about what’s happening at King Charles’s coronation with MailOnline’s up-to-the-minute live blog
- Are you having a coronation party? Email [email protected] to share your pictures
Coronation banquets have begun as the Prime Minister holds a Big Lunch on Downing Street, leading millions across the nation celebrating with streets parties.
And royal fans across the country have shared pictures of British flag-decked tables, cakes and quiches and bunting-lined streets as they throw their own celebrations.
Guests have begun arriving in Downing Street for the lunch, and there was a hum of excited chatter as those invited – including volunteers, Ukrainian refugees and youth group members – sipped fruit drinks and took photos in front of the famous Number 10 door as they awaited the arrival of Rishi Sunak.
The street was bedecked in Union flag bunting and music was being played by the RAF Northolt brass quintet.
Mr Sunak and Akshata Murty are hosting the event as part of the Big Lunch celebrations taking place across the country over the coronation weekend.
Rishi Sunak pictured outside Downing Street as he leads the nation in celebrating Big Lunches for the Coronation
People taking part during a Coronation Big Lunch in Regent’s Park, London, to celebration the crowning of Britain’s King Charles III
Members of the public participate in a street party in Twickenham Coronation street parties, London
Thousands of people across the country are celebrating the Coronation Big Lunch on Sunday to mark the crowning of King Charles III and Queen Camilla.
The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh will attend a big lunch in Cranleigh, the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence will attend a community street party in Swindon, and Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie will attend a big lunch in Windsor.
Many will be putting their aprons on to produce a veritable feast for lunch today – including the coronation quiche, which has broad beans, spinach and tarragon in the recipe.
READ MORE: Find your nearest Coronation Big Lunch: Map reveals location of 3,200 banquets being thrown today to honour the crowning of King Charles
Pictures of Coronation Big Lunch preparations showed bunting-full set-ups, with tables lined with cakes, scones and quiches.
The king’s younger brother Prince Edward, his sister Princess Anne and Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, the daughter of Charles’ other brother Prince Andrew, were due to attend ‘Big Lunch’ events, joining some of the estimated 50,000 street parties being held around the country.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will be among those hosting a coronation lunch, with the guests including Ukrainian families and youth groups.
‘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,’ he said in a statement.
While millions across the country stayed at home yesterday to watch the coronation, people will take to the streets today.
And in a message shared on the Royal Family’s Instagram page, the King and Queen said: ‘Whether this is your first ever Big Lunch or whether it is an annual part of your local calendar, we send our warmest good wishes to each one of you, and all those who will be with you, at what we hope will be a truly enjoyable event for everyone.’
Fiona Chapman and Lorna Dodwell crafted their own special capes to try and impress the King and Queen at the coronation.
Mrs Chapman said: ‘We went down on the train yesterday from Windsor and found our way to the Mall.
‘We did not see very much but we had a great laugh. Everyone was taking our photo.
‘We are royalists. I have always stuck up for Charles.’
Britain’s Prince Edward and Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh arrive to attend a Big Lunch with residents and representatives from the Royal British Legion
Royal fans across the country have shared pictures of British flag-decked tables, cakes and quiches and bunting-lined streets as they throw their own celebrations
People hold drinks during a picnic in a garden at Windsor Castle, a day after the coronation of Britain’s King Charles, in Windsor
Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, his wife Akshata Murty, and their daughters Krishna Sunak and Anoushka Sunak prepare to welcome guests for a Coronation Big Lunch
A woman with a glass of what looks like wine celebrates at a Big Lunch in Regent’s Park in London, holding a flag with King Charles III on it
People celebrate Britain’s King Charles’ coronation with the Big Lunch at Regent’s Park, in London
A woman celebrates at a Big Lunch in London wearing a crown and holding her dog, beside a woman with British flag-decked hat
Guests attend the Big Lunch event on Downing Street to celebrate the coronation of Britain’s King Charles
Pictured is a Coronation party taking place in Suffolk, with flag-laden tables covered in cakes, sandwiches and flasks of drinks
Coronation Lunch parties underway all around the UK – pictured is a party in Selborne, Hampshire
A woman looks on as people celebrate Britain’s King Charles’ coronation with the Big Lunch at Regent’s Park
A girl plays in St James Church’s garden during a party to celebrate Britain’s King Charles’ coronation
People celebrating the Big Lunch in Regent’s Park, with bottles of fizz, and tea stands filled with cakes
A picture shared on Twitter of people out enjoying a street party to celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III
Violet and Lilly Daniels aged 11 celebrating the coronation with a homemade afternoon tea at home in the Ribble Valley in pictures shared with MailOnline
People take selfies at The Big Lunch at The Long Walk, during the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla
Big lunch and concert goers dress up for the occasion in red, white and blue in Windsor, Berkshire
A woman wearing a crown is pictured on Windsor high street ahead of a Coronation Big Lunch organised in Windsor
People line up as they arrive to attend a party in St James Church to celebrate Britain’s King Charles’ coronation, in London
Fiona Chapman (left) and Lorna Dodwell in Windsor ahead of a street party in Eton. Thousands of people across the country are celebrating the Coronation Big Lunch on Sunday
A woman waves a Union Jack flag as people celebrate Britain’s King Charles’ coronation with the Big Lunch
People celebrate the Coronation in The Long Walk at the big lunch watching the Rock Choir
Big lunch and concert goers dress up for the occasion in red, white and blue in Windsor, Berkshire
Mrs Chapman’s husband spent six weeks making special crowns for the pair.
They will both be attending a street party in Eton before watching the coronation celebration on a big screen in a nearby park.
They applied for tickets for the concert at Windsor Castle but they did not manage to get any.
Mrs Chapman added: ‘Gary Barlow will miss me. I’m his biggest fan. We wanted Charles and Camilla to notice us yesterday.’
For the late Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953, Coronation Chicken – cold chicken in a curry cream sauce with a well-seasoned dressed salad of rice, green peas and mixed herbs – was invented to feed the foreign guests who were entertained at Buckingham Palace after the ceremony.
Buckingham Palace said the quiche was chosen because it worked as a sharing dish, can be served hot or cold, suits a wide variety of dietary requirements and can be easily adapted to suit different tastes.
It’s also rumoured that it features some of the King’s favourite foods, namely cheese and eggs. Millions of cakes – from Victoria sponges with cream and jam to carrot cakes with cream cheese icing – will be lovingly baked as people join their neighbours to celebrate.
Pictures from early this morning show police and contractors setting up for tonight’s Coronation Concert in Windsor, which will see 20,000 spectators flock to the castle’s East Lawn.
The Coronation Concert will feature stars including Katy Perry, Take That and Lionel Richie and will be broadcast across the BBC from 8pm.
People dance in St James Church’s garden during a party to celebrate Britain’s King Charles’ coronation
The Coronation Big Lunch. People stream down sheet street and onto the long walk in Windsor to lay out their picnics for the big lunch
People stream down sheet street and onto the long walk in Windsor to lay out their picnics for the big lunch on the long walk ahead of the coronation
A woman places a beer can with the picture of Britain’s King Charles on it, as she sets up a table during a picnic at Windsor Castle
A woman pours a drink during a picnic in a garden at Windsor Castle, a day after the coronation of Britain’s King Charles
People celebrate the Coronation in The Long Walk at the big lunch
People stream down sheet street and onto the long walk in Windsor to lay out their picnics for the big lunch on the long walk ahead of the coronation concert this evening
People celebrate Britain’s King Charles’ coronation with the Big Lunch at Regent’s Park, in London
Kerry Lawton prepares her table next to a scarecrows of King Charles and Queen Camilla during celebrations for the Big Lunch on the prom, in Morecambe
A makeshift sign for a bar is seen on Grove Park in Camberwell, during a street party top mark the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla
Members of the public have their photographs taken in a Coronation Selfie booth at a street party in Chiswick
Tino wins the best dressed dog of the Big Lunch as people celebrate Britain’s King Charles’ coronation at Regent’s Park
Police were seen walking up the castle’s Long Walk and cardboard cutouts of the monarch were being positioned near bunting-clad street party tables as decoration.
Tonight’s show in Windsor, hosted by Paddington and Downton Abbey actor Hugh Bonneville, will include video messages from Hollywood star Tom Cruise, Dynasty actress Dame Joan Collins, adventurer Bear Grylls and Welsh singer Sir Tom Jones.
Zoe Ball was due to present a show from the grounds of Windsor Castle but has said she is ‘absolutely gutted’ at having to pull out of covering the Coronation Concert for BBC Radio 2 at the last minute after falling ill.
Scott Mills will take over from Ball to chat to the crowd ahead of the concert, while Dermot O’Leary will be backstage speaking to the stars before they perform.
The series of pre-recorded sketches will reveal little-known facts about the monarch and will also include moments from beloved literary figure Winnie the Pooh – seemingly echoing the famous moment Paddington Bear drank tea with the Queen during her Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
READ MORE: It’s better late than never! Partying Britons will enjoy the warmest day of the year so far today as temperatures hit 22C after a Coronation day washout – as more than 10 million take to the streets in Big Lunch celebrations
There will also be performances by Paloma Faith, Olly Murs, veteran rock guitarist Steve Winwood, and Nicole Scherzinger of The Pussycat Dolls.
Classical acts including Andrea Bocelli, Welsh bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel and Chinese pianist Lang Lang will perform too.
The Royal Ballet, the Royal Opera, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal College of Music and the Royal College of Art will come together for the first time to create a one-off performance featuring Sex Education and Doctor Who star Ncuti Gatwa and Olivier Award nominee Mei Mac.
And the weather looks likely to be lovely for most with highs of up to 22C – the hottest day of the year so far.
The best of the weather will be in London and the South East this afternoon, with pleasant conditions also expected in Windsor for the Coronation Concert tonight.
Most of the UK will see good periods of sunshine today and it will be mainly dry, but large areas of cloud cover will bring a threat of showers to some eastern areas.
Overnight, steel barriers standing at 10 feet high were erected around Windsor Castle’s Town Gate, where 20,000 spectators will pour through for the event.
Before entering the concert to mark the crowing of King Charles and Queen Camilla fans will undergo extensive searches watched by police snipers.
In a message shared on the Royal Family’s Instagram page, the King and Queen said: ‘Whether this is your first ever Big Lunch or whether it is an annual part of your local calendar, we send our warmest good wishes to each one of you, and all those who will be with you, at what we hope will be a truly enjoyable event for everyone.’
Across the country people are getting ready to host and attend coronation lunches in celebration of the King’s crowning – with many baking the special coronation quiche that was created for the occasion
Many will be putting their aprons on to produce a veritable feast for lunch today – including the coronation quiche, which has broad beans, spinach and tarragon in the recipe
Preparations are underway across the country for big lunches, with tents being erected and buckets ready to store tipples for the big day
Across the country people are getting ready to host and attend coronation lunches in celebration of the King’s crowning
Many will be putting their aprons on to produce a veritable feast for lunch today as people head out into the streets to celebrate the coronation
Tables are lined with British flags for some al-fresco dining ahead of Coronation Big Lunches across the country today
Staff carries flowers for The Big Lunch event on Downing Street to celebrate the coronation of Britain’s King Charles
A volunteer from The Friends of Regent’s Park & Primrose Hill sets up tables and chairs for The Coronation Big Lunch in Regent’s Park today
Women wearing a crowns enjoy the day at The Big Lunch at The Long Walk, during the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla
People set up for the day at The Big Lunch at The Long Walk, during the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla
Coronation cakes being prepared by Brits today ahead of big lunches for King Charles II’s Coronation. Pictured are two sponges, berries and ingredients for icing
A pub in Windsor decorated with bunting in celebration of the King’s coronation weekend. A concert will be hosted in the town later today
Volunteers from The Friends of Regent’s Park & Primrose Hill inflate balloons ahead of The Coronation Big Lunch in Regent’s Park during the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla
A general view shows decorations and tables for The Big Lunch event on Downing Street to celebrate the coronation of Britain’s King Charles
A logo for King Charles is seen on the grass next to people celebrating the Big Lunch on the prom, in Morecambe
Anti-terrorist vehicle barriers, designed to stop trucks of up to seven-and-a- half tonnes, were being positioned around the castle.
Metal spikes which can pierce tyres were being brought in along with eCCTV cameras and floodlights.
Police armed with automatic rifles patrolled the streets while others took up position on rooftops.
Police have not revealed any specific threats, but will also be on guard for any intrusion by anti monarchists who were present at yesterday’s coronation procession in Trafalgar Square.
The heavy security did not deter tourists and royal well-wishers from pouring into Windsor at breakfast time to be part of the party.
READ MORE: King Charles’ coronation concert: Which stars will be performing? When is it and how can you tune in?
The Long Walk was sealed off as giant TV screens were being installed in to allow fans to watch the concert which will be attended by the King and Queen.
Evelyn Karrier, 30, from Austria, said: ‘It is such a wonderful time to be here. The atmosphere is a happy one and anyone who is here at this historical time is very lucky.’
American royal fan Susan Keys, 55, from Houston said : ‘ being from Texas, I just love all the tradition surrounding his coronation and this historic place.
‘You Brits do pageantry, pomp, and everything else so well. It’s no surprise to me that so many people come from all over the world to visit Windsor and to be here at the coronation time is such a bonus.’
Greg and Gina Watkins travelled from Gwent to be in the Castle town with their toddler son.
Greg,47, said: ‘Charles will be a wonderful King. He was already great as a Prince, but we can expect even greater things from him, as he has such incredible foresight.’
Avid bakers and cake business owners across the country have put their skills to the test creating bespoke cakes to celebrate the King’s coronation Pictured are cakes by Lee McAuliffe (left) and Catherine Davies (right)
Knitted figurines of the Prince and Princess of Wales and their children on a postbox in Windsor. Several senior royals will make appearances at coronation lunches today
Members of staff set the table ahead of a Coronation Big Lunch organised in Downing Street and hosted by Britain’s Prime Minister and his wife
Volunteers from The Friends of Regent’s Park & Primrose Hill prepare balloons ahead of The Coronation Big Lunch in Regent’s Park
A picture of a Coronation cake shared on Twitter, which has a picture of King Charles III on top of a British flag and white icing
A member of staff sets the table with special mugs reading ‘King Charles III’ ahead of a Coronation Big Lunch
A picture of a Coronation cake shared on Twitter, with an icing crown and the words ‘King’s Coronation 6th May, 2023)
Healthcare workers stand in front of a flag featuring the face of the newly crowned King Charles III. Millions are expected to take to the streets to celebrate today
Jane and Kayla set up decorations for a party in St James Church to celebrate Britain’s King Charles’ coronation, in London
Bartley Graham,48, from Durham walked around Windsor in his Union Jack suit and said: ‘I am a royal super fan. I will be watching the concert here tonight.
‘It’s such an important time for our country and for our own family. What we are doing, is seal in the future, everyone for centuries to come with this wonderful series of events to celebrate Charles.’
Royal fans have started arriving in Windsor hours before the coronation concert at 8pm.
People draped with Union flags and dressed in Union flag dresses have been flooding off trains at the station.
Garry and Donna Howarth travelled down from Bolton after winning tickets to the event.
READ MORE: Coronation is watched by peak TV audience of 20.4m as the King was crowned – nine million less than the Queen’s funeral – with 15.5m tuning into the BBC’s coverage, official figures show
Mr Howarth, dressed in a Union flag blazer, said: ‘We are here just for the concert. We have come down for the weekend.
‘We are about 10 hours early but we will have a look around and see what we can.’
Mrs Howarth said: ‘I’m so excited to be here.’
The pair are keen to see opera singers perform at the concert and decided to avoid the coronation on Saturday because of the rain.
The Coronation concert features a union flag shaped stage, which was barely visible to tourists who paid for a nearby field to try to catch a glimpse.
It is set on the eastern facade of the castle with multiple levels, and will hold a 70 piece orchestra with four cat walks around Launch out like the union flag into the crowd.
As part of the Coronation Concert, choreographed lasers, projections and drone displays will radiate over historic bridges and buildings around the country.
Seven of the 10 locations involved in the event, Lighting up the Nation, have been disclosed so far, including Blackpool seafront in Lancashire, where people can join a viewing party from Blackpool Tower.
Tables decked with flags, cakes, quiches and other buffet food were pictured ahead of today’s Big Lunch
Coronation decorations adorn properties in Windsor, during the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla
People prepare for a street party at Eton, during the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla on May 07
A seller of souvenirs and memorabilia makes his way up the hill in Windsor, during the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla
People make their way into The Big Lunch at The Long Walk, during the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla
People line up as they arrive to attend a party in St James Church to celebrate Britain’s King Charles’ coronation
A picture of a bake sale was shared on Twitter, showing red velvet cakes, batten-burg, chocolate cakes, cherry bakewells and scones with cream and jam
A picture shared on Twitter shows a three-tiered Coronation cake on top of a flag-covered table for today’s Big Lunches
People queue for the concert at The Long Walk, during the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla
Bury Council shared a picture of their set-up for today’s celebrations, with red, white and blue bunting decking the room
Sheffield Town Hall will showcase a display in the Peace Gardens, while Newcastle’s Tyne Bridge and Gateshead’s Millennium Bridge lights will cast riverside reflections for an audience stretching between the quays.
A drone show will light up the sky above the Eden Project in Cornwall, and its biomes will become multicoloured for spectators invited from the local volunteer community.
Light shows will also brighten up Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff at various locations.
The remaining three locations will be revealed during the concert.
The Coronation Concert will be broadcast on BBC One, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds from 8pm.
Are you having a coronation party? Email [email protected] to share your pictures
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