TEN million royal fans turned the streets red, white and blue in a joyous nationwide celebration of King Charles’ coronation.
Patriotic people across the country enjoyed picnics on streets and in community centers, village and church halls to celebrate the monarch’s coronation.
A record 67,000 Big Lunches – 50,000 more than at Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee – brought together all faiths and backgrounds in a moment of national pride.
About 80 locals gathered around a 60ft table to enjoy food from all over St Cuthberts Road in Kilburn, north west London.
Morris dancers performed in Union Jack suits while locals sang patriotic songs under bunting, including 87-year-old John Rodgers, who was enjoying his second coronation.
He said: “In 1953 all I cared about was how pretty Queen Elizabeth looked. I enjoyed this one in a whole different way.”
Geoff Stilwell, 71, who played guitar on the numbers, said: “It’s amazing to see this neighborhood atmosphere. Only the Coronation could do such a thing.”
Organizer Kerstin Rodgers adds: “I have lived here for 23 years and met neighbors for the first time today. Everyone here is from everywhere. They all brought food from their cultures. It is wonderful.”
Meanwhile, on Worcester Road in Colchester, Essex, Angie Fairbrother threw a party for 250 residents.
She said: “We have a street party every year as part of the Big Lunch and this has been the busiest.
“There are babies and people in their eighties. It’s so much fun and just creates a real sense of community.”
Up in Burn, North Yorks, 150 locals crowded into a marquee whose decorations included a life-size replica of the golden state carriage – complete with horses and cut-outs of the king and queen.
Sheila Holmes, 79, of the community, said: “The community has made a great effort and I am proud. I thought yesterday’s service was wonderful. We can do that best because we are British.”
In Blackpool, flags flew over the famous promenade as thousands took part in a huge Big Lunch.
Dedicated royalist Margaret Shaw, who was on holiday from Scotland, said: “I was tied up in front of the TV watching the coronation yesterday so I’ll be enjoying the sun today.”
At the Eden Project in Cornwall, meanwhile, 200 guests shared a 32-inch coronation quiche – an oversized version using 65 eggs and made from the recipe personally chosen by King Charles.
Peter Stewart of the Eden Project, who came up with the idea of the Big Lunch in 2009, said: “Bringing people together to share such experiences over food and fun is critical to building stronger, more resilient communities and we’re proud to have done just that .”