King Charles III and Queen Camilla on the balcony

Royal Family appear on Buckingham Palace balcony for flypast

The newly crowned King Charles III and Queen Camilla appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch the flypast, bringing the momentous day of pomp and pageantry to its close. 

The King and Queen and working members of the Royal Family waved to the cheering crowds lining the Mall, hundreds of whom who had camped out in the days leading up to be a part of this historic occasion. 

They were surrounded by the Prince and Princess of Wales and their children, Princess Anne and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Lawrence, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, and the Duke of Kent.

Princess Alexandra, first cousin to the late Queen Elizabeth, and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester were also present on the balcony, as well as the pageboys who had participated in the ceremony.

It has been tradition since the coronation of Edward VII in 1902 for the Monarch to greet the crowds from the balcony following the procession back to the Palace. 

Images from the balcony have come to define coronations, royal weddings and jubilees, with the Royal Family last appearing on the balcony for Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee last year. 

The flypast, originally planned to feature nearly 70 planes drawn from all three forces and Spitfires from the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, was reduced due to ‘unsuitable weather conditions’.

The crowd’s spirits were not dampened by the rain, cheering loudly as helicopters and the Royal Air Force aerobatic team, The Red Arrows, flew overhead just after 2.30pm.

The scaled-down flypast included Apache, Wildcat, Merlin and Chinook helicopters from the Royal Navy, the British Army and Royal Air Force.

It lasted two minutes and thirty seconds, instead of the anticipated six minutes.

The monarchs smiled as the Red Arrows left a red, white and blue trail in the skies ahead.

The flypast which had been planned for this year was ten times smaller than the one which marked Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation in 1953, when more than 600 aircraft flew across London.

Following the national anthem, the Royal Family waved once more to the crowds before retiring into Buckingham Palace.

The King and Queen reappeared on the balcony a few minutes later alone, waving one more time to the sea of flags and faces below.

The festivities will continue over the coming days with garden parties at the Palace, The Big Lunch, and the Big Help Out. 

Prince Harry however is expected to take to the skies soon, returning to California to celebrate the fourth birthday of his son, Archie. 

Featured image credit: Reuters via Beat Media Group subscription

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