Outside Buckingham Palace, Irish people are thin on the ground but those who are can be just as enthusiastic about tomorrow’s coronation service as any local.
In front of a congregation of thousands in Westminster Abbey, Britain’s King Charles and Queen Camilla will be crowned; it is the first such ceremony since Queen Elizabeth’s in 1953 and for Dubliner Lucinda it is something she is delighted to be a part of.
As soon as the date was announced, she booked a flight and told her London-based daughter to expect the pleasure of her company.
Ireland and the British monarchy share a long and complex relationship; to many, republicanism is at the core of Ireland’s sense of nationhood - but Lucinda sees no contradiction between her passport and her admiration for the British royals.
“Puff and nonsense,” she told Newstalk’s Henry McKean for Moncrieff.
“I love it! I’m a royalist.”
As well as being crowned King of the United Kingdom, Charles III will also be anointed as Sovereign of 14 other Commonwealth countries - one of which Lucinda has a special connection to.
“My mother was Canadian, so I grew up [with her respect for] the Commonwealth - she came from Vancouver,” she said.
“So, every time O Canada or God Save The Queen was played, we had to stand up in our house growing up.”
— Henry McKean (@HenryMcKean) May 5, 2023
In central London, it is hard to escape the fact there is a special event about to take place; the Mall is teaming with even more people than usual, the city is festooned with Union Jacks and even the Tube has replaced its usual voiceover with a greeting from the King and Queen.
It is all exactly what Lucinda hoped to experience.
“Oh, I love it! [I’ve] been chatting to people, I’ve got photographs on my phone,” she said.
“People who met friends at the funeral of Queen Elizabeth and they’re on WhatsApp and they all met up in London - it’s getting to everyone, it’s wonderful!”
Tomorrow’s coronation service will be broadcast live on RTÉ and attended by President Michael D Higgins.
Main image: Lucinda and King Charles.