LONDON — King Charles’s coronation day went to the dogs.
Around 150 fluffy eared, doe-eyed namesakes of Charles’ ancestor, Charles II, paraded down London’s King’s Road to celebrate the country’s newest monarch on Saturday.
Soggy but largely undeterred by the rain, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, some wearing tiaras and others red royal cloaks, turned out in force with their owners in Chelsea, one of the capital’s poshest neighborhoods.
“I just thought this is a no-brainer,” said Jenny Matthews, who owns a pet grooming service, cafe and boutique on the King’s Road and who came up with the idea for the parade.
“It’s our King Charles III’s coronation day,” Matthews, 53, told NBC News. “What more can we do for him than to gather as many King Charles Spaniel dogs as possible and parade down his road? It’s the King’s Road.”
She added that the Cavaliers of London group of owners had reached out to their 5,000 members to garner interest and she had been inundated with demand.
Sophie Bradley and her dog Amber, from the nearby neighborhood of Hammersmith were among those selected to take part.
And despite the downpour, she said they’d had a great time.
“Forget the British weather,” Bradley, 51, said. “It’s once in a lifetime, it’s history making … to celebrate the king and his coronation. I can’t think of a better way to spend the day, to be honest with you.”
The event took place after King Charles III was crowned in a ceremony at London’s historic Westminster Abbey. His wife, Queen Camilla, was also crowned, before a parade of thousands of Britain’s armed forces, decked out in colorful dress uniforms, escorted them back to Buckingham Palace. There, they made a traditional appearance on the balcony alongside other members of the royal family in front of cheering crowds.
“It’s particularly poignant and special that we have a monarch, King Charles III, who has literally hours ago been crowned king, and to be here,” David Lindsay, the mayor of the Royal borough of Kensington and Chelsea, said as he joined in the party on the King’s Road. “It’s symbolic, it’s fun and it’s part of history, and we are but history in the making now.”
Before the dog parade, a group of 300 military veterans known as the Chelsea Pensioners marched down the road, which, like the spaniels, was named after King Charles II.
Among the marchers was Roy Palmer, 84, who said he had enjoyed tea with Queen Camilla as part of her 75th birthday celebrations.
“To be here with these people, it’s wonderful,” said Palmer, who along with the other veterans lives in the nearby Royal Hospital. “It’s historic for a start.” he added.
Built in 1682, the hospital predates the King’s Road by 12 years.
After the road was built in 1694, only the king was allowed to use, and he travelled between his royal residences, St James’ Palace and Hampton Court.
Later, members of the aristocracy were allowed to travel down it if they had special tokens bearing the king’s initials. It finally became available to the public in 1830.
Over a century later it became a stomping ground for some of the most popular figures in British music and fashion.
The Beatles and The Rolling Stones and fashion designer Mary Quant were all regulars in the 1960’s and the following decade Vivienne Westwood opened her store Sex on it. Notorious punk group the Sex Pistols would meet there regularly.