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'We'd do it again' - Coronation grannies head home

[Press center5] time:2023-06-02 04:01:50 source:BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation) author:Press center4 click:193order

Five pensioners who camped out in London for four nights to watch the King's Coronation have returned home after "a memorable" experience.

Margaret Tinsley, 81, from Dorset, and her four friends set up camp on the Mall on Tuesday afternoon in order to bag a prime spot to watch Saturday's ceremonial processions.

They slept under a beach shelter and braved the rain and cold for days.

But they said it was all worth it and they would do it again.

Ms Tinsely and her friends Jessie Young, 81, Eunice Hartstone, 79, Shirley Messinger, 76, and Elizabeth Couzens, 57, even met King Charles III on Friday when he surprised the crowd, greeting well-wishers during a walkabout outside Buckingham Palace.

The five friends said the entire experience of camping out for days, meeting the King and watching Saturday's processions and the flypast was emotional and magnificent.

"We are tired, we are elated, we are excited and it was just wonderful," Ms Tinsley said.

"It was well worth getting cold overnight and all the hustle and bustle but it was magnificent," added Ms Hartstone who is from West Moors, in Dorset.

They all travelled together on Tuesday with one large rucksack, a sun lounger, a gas stove and a trolley full of drinks and food and spent the last few days meeting people from all over the world, eating together and watching rehearsals along the Mall.

"The whole event was amazing, emotional, fun and memorable," said Ms Messinger, from Milford on Sea, in Hampshire.

This was not the first time they went to such great lengths to attend royal events as they camped out on the Mall on other occasions including the-then Prince Charles and Diana Spencer's 1981 wedding.

On Tuesday Ms Young travelled all the way from Kilmarnock, Scotland, to join her friends on this adventure.

She said the past days felt "almost surreal".

"I am heading back to Kilmarnock taking with me wonderful memories of being with old and new friends," she said.

This year the group also welcomed a new friend, Ms Couzens, who joined them for the first time.

The 57-year-old from New Milton, in Hampshire, said it was "all worth it".

"I can't wait to do it again," she added.

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