The King and Queen meet politicians at Westminster Hall prior to coronation

MPs and parliamentary staff unable to attend the coronation spoke to Charles & Camilla

Today, The King and Queen met members of Parliament, peers and staff at a reception in Westminster Hall.

The reception was an opportunity for the couple to meet those working in Parliament who will not be able to attend the Coronation service, due to limited numbers. 

Their Majesties attended a reception at Westminster Hall. (House of Lords Flickr)

The national anthem was played by members of the RAF band, with MPs and peers sung whilst His Majesty watched from the entrance.

Upon arrival, Charles was met by Lord Carrington, the Lord Great Chamberlain, and Sarah Clarke, the Lady Usher of the Black Rod.

The King then went on to spoke to members of both Houses who share his interests, including agriculture, business and communities. He also spoke to the current Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, and Leader of the Opposition, Sir Keir Starmer.

Joining at a later stage during the reception, The Queen also met members from both Houses, where she discussed her passions of literacy, and domestic violence and osteoporosis prevention.

Their Majesties met around 750 parliamentarians, ahead of the Coronation on Saturday.

The King spoke to those who shared his interests. (House of Lords Flickr)

Food and nibbles were on hand throughout the reception, including the new Coronation quiche and lemon and chocolate tarts with His Majesty’s cypher on.

At the end of the reception The King and Queen viewed the Speaker’s coach. The golden carriage was used at the coronations of Elizabeth II, George V and Edward VII and is thought to have been made for King William III and Queen Mary II in the 1690s. It is the oldest of three great ceremonial coaches in Britain – even older than the Gold State Coach to be used at this week’s coronation.

The Speaker’s Coach seen in the background as His Majesty spoke to politicians. (House of Lords Flickr)

The story holds that Queen Anne gave the coach to the Speaker in 1702.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, said: ‘Everyone wanted to be part of the coronation. This was his bit to Parliament, saying, I want to mingle, and he did.

‘He went around everyone shaking hands, he didn’t even have time for a piece of quiche. An amazing visit, a very, very warm welcome. Excuse the pun, but this was levelling up. For those who will not be there on Saturday, he wanted to give others the opportunity today. Those peers and MPs who could not be there on Saturday, this is their opportunity to meet His Majesty, and Her Majesty.’

The Queen spoke to peers, politicians, and staff. (House of Lords Flickr).

Former Prime Minister Theresa May said: ‘He’s speaking with people for quite a long time. Everyone is hugely impressed by him but also excited about this event. It’s going to be an absolutely amazing event. It’s not just MPs and peers here but staff as well, which is really wonderful.’

The Coronation service will be attended by a congregation of more than 2,200 people, including members of the Royal Family, international representatives from 203 countries (which will include 100 Heads of State) and representatives of the law and executive.

In December 2022, The King unveiled a plaque on the floor of Westminster Hall, which marked the site of the Lying-in-State of the late Queen.

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