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Camp out grannies 'in tears' after meeting King

Published on 2023-06-03 14:57:20 source:NBC News

A group of pensioners who have spent days camping out to secure a prime spot ahead of the Coronation have met the King.

Margaret Tinsley, 81, from Dorset, and her four friends set up camp on the Mall on Tuesday to bag a prime spot ahead of Saturday's celebrations.

But they were caught by surprise on Friday afternoon, when King Charles III decided to greet well-wishers during a walkabout outside Buckingham Palace.

All five of them got to meet the King.

Elizabeth Couzens, 57, from New Milton, in Hampshire said it was "amazing", while Ms Tinsley managed to speak to the King and shake his hands.

"I said 'God bless you Sir' and someone behind me told him I had been here since Tuesday," Ms Tinsley said.

"Oh goodness have you really? he said", Ms Tinsley added.

She said the King then spoke to her 14-year-old grandson.

"I have been in tears on and off since," Ms Tinsley added.

Ms Cousens and Ms Tinsley have been camping out with their friends Jessie Young, 81, Eunice Hartstone, 79, and Shirley Messinger, 76.

They travelled together with one large rucksack, a sun lounger, a gas stove and a trolley full of gin, wine and plenty of food.

Over the past four days they braved the rain and cold but said they could not miss a "once-in-a-lifetime event".

"It was certainly all worth it," Ms Messinger said.

She added: "I was not expecting a walkabout. It was amazing. I am full of admiration. He is very generous."

They friends said the Royal Family was their "history" and they wanted to be in London on Saturday to thank them and support the King.

The friends attended many other royal events over the years and camped out on the Mall other occasions, including the then-Prince Charles and Diana Spencer's 1981 wedding, as well as Prince Andrew's wedding to Sarah Ferguson in 1986.

They said they were really looking forward to the ceremonial processions on Saturday when the King and Camilla, the Queen Consort will leave Buckingham Palace to be crowned in Westminster Abbey at 11:00 BST.

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