- By Michael Sheils McNamee
- BBC news
King Charles III smiled and thanked supporters for their support during a stroll outside Buckingham Palace before his coronation.
The king laughed and shook hands with members of the public, who were carrying union jacks and false crowns.
Along with the Prince and Princess of Wales, some in the crowd sang God Save the King.
The walkway in the Mall has a high security presence, with dozens of cars and police on motorbikes.
Thousands of people attended the event, and shouts of “good luck” and “good luck tomorrow” could be heard. One woman cried: “Love you Charlie!”
The king laughed when asked by a man if he was worried about tomorrow, and joked to some children: “No school? You guys did well!”
Among the viewers were royal fans from around the world.
Calling from the side of the Mall, a woman said, “King Charles, nice to meet you – we’re here from America!”
Another man commented, “I’m from Bangkok,” and the King replied, “Nice to meet you.”
Prince William and Catherine pose for a photo with supporters they meet.
Speaking to the BBC at the Shopping Centre, Princess Catherine revealed her children were “a bit nervous” and “excited” and couldn’t wait for this day to come.
Prince George will star in the coronation and Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis are also expected to attend the historic day.
A woman named Faby, from London, told the PA news agency that she shook hands with the King and found him charming.
“It’s unbelievable,” said the 55-year-old. “It’s not every day you get to shake hands with the King. That’s lovely.”
Theresa Iredale, who turned 66 on Saturday, the day of King Charles’ coronation, wore a plastic tiara.
She said the King thanked her for coming and said “oh, congratulations” when she told him about her birthday.
“I was shaking. I saw his hand reach out to me and I was like, ‘I can’t believe I’m shaking the King’s hand.’ A special moment.”
“This is a moment of celebration; enjoy tomorrow,” Catherine told one woman.
She appears to have been on a video call at one stage before also talking on someone else’s phone then returning it.
In addition to the union flag, other flags on display include those representing Germany, Wales, Canada and Australia. The cries of “Hip, hip, ho” were also heard.
Earlier, the King and Queen Camilla attended a rehearsal at Westminster Abbey, before hosting a special lunch at Buckingham Palace for leaders of the Commonwealth – 15 countries where he is the king.
Attendees included UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins.
Saturday’s coronation begins at 11:00 BST (10:00 GMT) at Westminster Abbey, and will be presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
At 13:00, the King and Queen will leave Westminster Abbey in a ceremonial procession back to Buckingham Palace, attended by other members of the Royal Family.
As part of the Coronation Ceremony, the public will for the first time take an active role in the ceremony and will be invited to swear allegiance to the King.
“Respect of the People” is a new addition to the ancient ceremony presided over by Justin Welby.
The Republican campaign group called the idea “nonsense” and “offensive”.
Scheduled as part of Saturday’s beauty pageant is a fly-by event, but it will depend on the weather, with a 70% chance of showers at the same time.
Royal fans who will be in London to celebrate the occasion should bring umbrellas, cagoules and waterproof jackets.
Royal Air Force Chief of Staff Sir Michael Wigston said there was “50/50” as to whether a flight scheduled to pass through Buckingham Palace and Shopping Center after 14:15 BST would happen. out or not.
It will include more than 60 aircraft from the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force – including the Red Arrows – but a final decision will be made just an hour or two before it begins.
BBC weather forecaster Chris Fawkes said the cloud was expected to “quickly thicken” in the morning with “rains coming in”.
“Rain generally tends to be light and drizzly, but there could be a few more heavy showers,” he said.
“The weather will gradually become drier in the afternoon, perhaps with some sunshine later in the day.”