'Big Lunch' follows big coronation day celebrating King Charles III

·2-min read
© Andreea Alexandru, AP

After the gilded spectacle of King Charles III's crowning in an ancient religious ceremony, coronation festivities took a more down-to-earth turn Sunday with thousands of picnics and street parties held across the UK in his honor.

The community get-togethers, part of a British tradition known as the Big Lunch, were intended to bring neighbours together to celebrate the newly crowned king even as support for the monarchy wanes. Critics complained about the coronation's cost at a time of exorbitant living expenses amid double-digit inflation.

Thousands of luncheons were organised as part of the celebrations Sunday, along with a nighttime concert at Windsor Castle featuring Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and 1990's boy band Take That. Charles encouraged residents to engage in volunteer activities Monday, which was a holiday.

The king and Queen Consort Camilla were not expected at any of the luncheons but planned to attend the concert that will include a speech by his son, Prince William, heir to the throne.

The king's siblings, Edward, the Duke of Edinburgh, and Anne, the Princess Royal, and their spouses took on lunch duty for the royal family. Edward was in Cranleigh and his sister hit an event in Swindon. The king's nieces, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, the daughters of Prince Andrew, were to join a lunch in Windsor.

As in other neighbourhoods with street parties, Downing Street was decked out in Union Jack bunting for the occasion.

The Metropolitan Police acknowledged concerns over the arrests, but defended the force’s actions.


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