Apparition and procession in the rain at Hillsborough
There was never a day like this in Hillsborough – pageantry and procession as the rain poured down everywhere.
Even though the police organized a major security operation in the small village of Co Down, hundreds of people still made the effort to get as close as possible to the castle to witness the proclamation of the new king, and many stood for over an hour in the rain.
While around 200 guests were allowed inside the castle grounds, more watched and listened from outside, either in front of the gates or behind barriers.
erected by the side of the road.
A full dress rehearsal for the ceremonial proclamation of accession took place earlier in the day in bright sunshine, but the skies opened up about an hour before the actual event.
The small number of residents allowed onto the grounds huddled together on the front lawn under umbrellas handed out by staff.
The ceremony had a strong military theme, from a lone bugler sounding the band to the Royal Irish Regiment band playing the national anthem and a 21-gun salute fired by the 206 (Ulster) Battery Royal Artillery.
Outside the gates, the atmosphere was less formal – but with the same sense of grief over the Queen’s death and support for the new monarch.
Emma and James McConnell came from Portadown.
Their white dog Honey had her ears dyed red and white for the occasion.
Mr McConnell said: “We came to see everything that was going on.
“We like to follow royalty and we wanted to come down and show our support.
“We were all sitting around watching the news last week about the Queen. We hoped it wouldn’t happen, but somehow we knew it would. It was so sad.
“I think the new King will be fine.”
Ms McConnell added: ‘I put dye in Honey’s ears to make it red, white and blue.
“Unfortunately it turned a bit purple in the rain.”
David Armstrong traveled with his baby from Lisburn to pay his respects.
He said: “There’s a good crowd and it’s nice to see people made the effort to show up even though the weather isn’t great.
“I was quite shocked last week by the news of the Queen.
“Obviously a few days before she was still doing her homework and she looked frail, but none of us expected this news two days later.
“I think everyone thought she would live forever, but it’s sad and you can feel a dark atmosphere.
“It’s something I’ve never seen before at Hillsborough.”
Mr Armstrong added: “I think Charles will be a good king.
“He gave his speech the other night very well. He did really well. I think he’s going to step in and people are going to accept him and respect him.