Armed Forces practice coronation route under cover of night

Music and marches were seen on the streets of London in the early hours

After completing a mock procession over the weekend at RAF Odiham, military personnel took to the streets of London early this morning, giving those already camping out a glimpse of the royal procession route that millions will see on Saturday.

Royal Air Force contingent of the Coronation procession overnight rehearsals. (MOD)

The Gold State Coach and the Diamond Jubilee State Coach were also seen as part of the rehearsals.

Personnel from all three branches of the military marched down the Mall after 1am, to ensure a perfect event in just a few days’ time.

The rehearsals began just after 12.20am and were led by the Band of the Household Cavalry, in their gold and red liveries.

The Diamond Jubilee State Coach being pulled through Whitehall. (MOD)

Many service people carried a range of instruments, which will form part of the musical accompaniment, and some music was heard – but for the most part, only the drums were played by marching soldiers through central London.

In its entirety, the practice took three hours, with men and women lining the route as well as marching.

Personnel marching through London. (MOD)

The procession route on Coronation day will be shorter than that taken by Elizabeth II on her Coronation day in 1953, with the total distance taken by Charles and Camilla to be 1.3 miles, compared to Elizabeth II’s 1.6 mile journey.

The route will take them down the Mall via Admiralty Arch, along the south side of Trafalgar Square, past Whitehall and Parliament Street, around the east and south sides of Parliament Square to Broad Sanctuary, to finally arrive at the Abbey.

After the ceremony at Westminster Abbey, Their Majesties will travel the same 1.3 miles in reverse, but this time in the Gold State Coach after the ceremony.

The King’s Life Guard on the parade. (MOD)

The rehearsal came hours after a man was arrested at Buckingham Palace by police officers after he threw a number of items into the palace grounds. Thought to have thrown shotgun cartridges over the fences, he was also in possession of a ‘suspicious bag’.

Specialist police officers attended the scene and undertook a controlled explosion ‘as a precaution’.

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