King Charles will have found it hard to keep emotions in check during astonishing walkabout

·2-min read

We had been told they would stop to look at the flowers left outside Buckingham Palace.

But in the kind of moment I've witnessed many times before on their engagements, our new King and his Queen Consort immediately made their way towards the crowds.

The reaction was astonishing. Cheers, spontaneous bursts of "God Save The King", and a woman even leaned in to kiss King Charles.

King Charles giving first address to nation - live updates

He is a man who wears his heart on his sleeve, so for this moment it must have been difficult to keep his emotions in check.

But with this walkabout - a royal tradition established by his mother and father - you got the sense he wanted to feel a genuine connection with those who had come to pay their respects.

And that is partly because of the difficult mixed emotions he knows both the Royal Family and the public must navigate this week.

A period where everyone will have to adjust to his new position as our new king, where we will witness fanfare and pageantry to mark his succession.

But also in contrast, a sombre moment of immense reflection and mourning for Queen Elizabeth II.

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Her son knows the world will be watching as he now leads the public at this historic time.

It was a juxtaposition we saw at play in those short moments as he returned to London.

After accepting the warm wishes of the crowd, it was time to get back to his official work; Camilla once again by his side as he walked into Buckingham Palace for the first time, not as heir but as monarch, returning to the duties he inherited the moment his mother died.

Tonight at 8pm on Sky News: Watch the documentary Elizabeth II: A life of duty with Mark Austin, a look back at the extraordinary life of Britain's longest reigning monarch