London becomes sea of red white and blue for King Charles III's coronation

The countdown to the coronation of King Charles III reached its climax on Saturday as the streets of London were decked in red, white and blue, with thousands of royal fans descending on the capital.

The King will be crowned at Westminster Abbey by the Archbishop of Canterbury during a coronation ceremony dating back centuries, in a day of spectacular British pageantry set to be watched by hundreds of millions around the world.

Build up to the big day reached fever pitch on Saturday morning, with workers sweeping sand onto roads, police officers arriving and a rain shelter is being set up outside Westminster Abbey ahead of forecasted mixed weather.

Hundreds of shops, bars, restaurants and landmarks in central London were decked out with Union flags, while droves of spectators took their spots along the procession route where many had already been camping for days.

The event is the military’s largest ceremonial operation since Queen Elizabeth II’s 1953 coronation, with 9,000 servicemen and women deployed and 7,000 of these performing ceremonial and supporting roles.