London — King Charles III, along with his son and heir William and his wife Kate, the Prince and Princess of Wales, made an unexpected stop to greet supporters outside Buckingham Palace on Friday afternoon, just a day before the monarch’s coronation ceremony.
Royals fans gathered along The Mall, a broad, tree-lined avenue that leads straight to the front gate of Buckingham Palace, pushed toward fences as they caught sight of the king’s Bentley State Limousine rolling toward the palace.
To their delight, the car convoy stopped and the king and the prince and princess stepped out and walked toward the fence.
People have been camped out for several nights already to reserve prime viewing spots along The Mall, which makes up about half of the route the coronation processions will take on Saturday as the king and his wife, Queen Consort Camilla are carried to and from Westminster Abbey.
The crowd reacted with shock when the royals emerged from their vehicles, with some chanting, “God save the King,” and “hip, hip hooray!”
The king and the Prince and Princess of Wales worked opposite sides of The Mall, greeting people from all over the world, including from as far away as the United States and Thailand.
Two women who actually got to exchange a few words with the monarch after spending two nights camped out on The Mall told CBS News it was a “truly wonderful” experience.
“I said to him, ‘Congratulations for tomorrow,’ and he turned to us and shook our hand,” said Joan, who didn’t wish to share her full name.
“He asked if anybody overnighted, and my hair is sticking up, and I said, ‘Yes!’ And he leaned over and shook my hand.”
The royals’ security detail urged onlookers to put down their phones to enjoy the moment, according to the BBC.
Shortly after the three royals emerged, they were back in their vehicles, continuing on toward Buckingham Palace.
CBS News’ Emmet Lyons contributed to this report.