Family affair as American mother and daughter join Hyde Park crowds to celebrate historic day

A mother and daughter brought a kick of US flair to the early morning crowds gathering to watch the coronation at one of the giant viewing screens in Hyde Park.

Kate Kirkwood, 50 and her daughter Emma, 19, emphasised their huge desire to be a part of the coronation celebrations and the culture of the UK.

Originally from Pennsylvania, the family has strong ties to the capital, with all the Kirkwood family following in the footsteps of their father and going to the same high school here in what has now become a family tradition.

Kate said: “My children will have gone here from 2012 to 2024 and I didn’t think they’d see a coronation. I thought the Queen would live to be over 100 so when she passed away I couldn’t believe we’d be there for the funeral.

“The coronation today is so special – I love to see the British people’s pride in their royal family.”

Emma finished her degree in Chinese Studies at Virginia University on Tuesday and is currently battling jet lag after flying into London at 10pm last night to make it to the coronation in time.

Emma said: “We’ve invited a lot of people here today so it’s nice just to reconnect with people and celebrate the coronation.

“I like how it’s bringing people together because I feel that we’re all a bit separated in the world right now.”

Kate is a supply teacher for nursery to grade 12 students in the US but comes back and forth a lot to London to see her children, with Emma’s brother still studying at high school here. She emphasised that all her children who have now graduated miss England.

This morning the pair – pictured above – brought a picnic along with them to celebrate the big day. Whilst coronation quiche was not on the menu, Kate admitted that her other daughter had made vegan coronation chickpeas, whilst Emma had baked a cake that she was planning to decorate in the park with a union jack.

When asked what the big challenge may be of Charles’ reign, Kate said that it will be his ability to represent people in modern Britain as his mother was so beloved and dedicated to her country, her family and her faith.

Most of all though, Kate is excited for her children to witness history.

Kate said: “My husband told me to get a newspaper because 100 years from now our grandchildren will want to see the print. It’ll be great to have the photos, maybe print them out and put them in a book.

“It is historic. It hasn’t happened in 70 years.”

Featured image: Emily Cooke

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