The Royal Family is gearing up for King Charles’s Coronation on Saturday, with a host of senior royals descending on Westminster Abbey for last-minute rehearsals on Wednesday morning.
King Charles and Camilla were spotted arriving at the London church, but it was Princess Charlotte – who celebrated her eighth birthday yesterday – who took centre stage.
Several pictures of their arrival showed the young royal at ease as she headed towards the entrance, with her long hair down and wearing a white cardigan over a blue floral dress.
Her siblings were also there, with second-in-line to the throne Prince George in a navy suit and young Prince Louis in a chequered navy shirt.
Mum Kate wore a long-sleeved monochrome midi-dress by L.K. Bennett while Prince William looked smart in a navy suit – matching with his eldest son.
The Wales family joined other senior royals, including Charles and Camilla, and Princess Anne for one of the final run-throughs of Saturday’s historic event.
Two of Camilla’s grandchildren also joined the family for the rehearsals and will be among the pages of honour at the Coronation. George is also among the eight youngsters selected to undertake the special role on the day.
A total of four pages, including George, will attend to the King on the day and carry his robes as he enters and leaves Westminster Abbey. The other four, who are all related to Camilla, will do the same for her.
The heir will be the youngest of the group, but his father and grandfather were keen for him to have an important role given that one day he will become King and host his own Coronation.
Everyone looked relaxed and happy as they arrived, chatting to members of the church congregation before heading inside the Abbey.
Rishi Sunak even took a break from his prime ministerial duties to attend the Coronation rehearsals, just a day after he welcomed the King at Westminster Hall.
A separate Coronation rehearsal was held overnight, which saw thousands of personnel from the Army, Navy and RAF march from Buckingham Palace past Trafalgar Square and Downing Street to Westminster Abbey.
The Diamond Jubilee State Coach and Gold State Coach – which will both be used by the King and Queen during their processions to and from Westminster Abbey on Coronation day – were marched down the Mall as part of the preparations shortly after midnight. The former will be used to travel to the Abbey ahead of the service, while the latter will be used for the return journey.
The parade of soldiers saw them in full military attire, carrying a range of instruments such as saxophones, trumpets, horns and cymbals – but only the drums were played until they returned down the Mall shortly after 3am.
Outside Buckingham Palace, bagpipes brought the usually still night air to life as they were played shortly after 2.30am.
Elsewhere in the capital soldiers were spotted parading in Parliament Square and practised changing position as Big Ben chimed.
Artillery regiments rehearsed moving cannons on horseback and soldiers were seen pretending to fire the ceremonial weapons.
The rehearsal came just hours after a man was arrested outside Buckingham Palace after throwing suspected shotgun cartridges into the grounds.
A cordon was erected and a controlled explosion carried out following the incident, which unfolded at around 7.15pm on Tuesday.
The man was arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon. There are no reports of any injuries and police are not treating the incident as terror-related.