Portrait Photographer London

King Charles III Coronation

Coronation of King Charles III

It was great fun being part Helsingin Sanomat’s team covering the Coronation of King Charles III together with journalist Helmi Muhonen. Looking back on the weekend of celebration – with multiple working locations where we created the articles onsite and a selection of images from our coverage. 

Saturday – Pall Mall and Viewing Screens in St James’s Park

We didn’t want to take any chances so we met (very) early to ensure that we would be allowed into St James’s Park and Pall Mall – before it would reach capacity.

As we were walking the route that had been cordoned off, the sun began to rise. Hundreds of other people walked towards the park carrying picnics, flags and umbrellas in preparation for watching the Coronation of King Charles III on the big viewing screen. Just a stone’s throw away from Westminster Abbey where it would take place later that same day. 

Both Helmi and I wanted to publish two articles on the day. We got to work straight away – Helmi began interviewing the first people who had arrived at St James’s Park whilst I captured atmospheric photos in the meantime, circling back to her when it looked like the interview had come to a natural end. 

Helmi and I worked well and quickly together and decided to wrap up to begin work on putting our first article together. 

We found a tree that we sat beneath on a plastic bag each – it was still early in the morning with the grass wet from morning dew. As Helmi wrote the article and I prepped the photos, the park began to fill up with more and more people. A duck and her ducklings showed up out of nowhere and paid us a visit under the tree. 

Photo taken on iPhone

The article went up quickly, and, as it went live, the weather had changed, and it started raining. Everyone who had brought and umbrella was still stood in the crowds, but the trees that gave shelter became increasingly popular for the ones who had forgotten. 

Location Editorial Portrait Photography

Helmi began to interview more visitors as I stayed close and circled back when the interview had been completed. King Charles III had now been coronated and St James’s Park began to empty as most people had been soaked from it raining most of the day. 

The exits had been blocked at St James’s Park so Helmi and I thought it would be opportunistic to begin work on the second article from a wet bench. We had an umbrella each and used my shammy cloths to wipe away the rain from our screens. It started pouring down more intensely,  so we had to pack away our laptops. It was impossible wiping the rain away from our screens whilst simultaneously working.   

Photo taken on iPhone

Back at Helmi’s hotel, she began to write the second article as I prepped the photos. We sipped on a coffee each – and everything was sent across smoothly. Our third and final office space for the day was our second favourite one as we both enjoyed the ducklings earlier that day. 

Our second article that day was published, and we wrapped up for the day! 

Location Editorial Portrait Photography

Saturday – Pall Mall and Viewing Screens in St James’s Park

Held alongside the Long Walk in Windsor, there was a positive atmosphere as locals families in Windsor laid down their picnic blankets and started tucking into scotch eggs, and sandwiches, and the adults enjoyed a sparkling glass or two. 

The stage had performances from choirs and schools from the local area. It felt like a big family get-together with hundreds of British flags painting almost everything in red, white and blue. 

Helmi Muhonen interviewed several families to get an idea of who had come and how they felt about the newly crowned monarch whilst I circled back every so often when the interviews were done. 

There had been rumours whispered that the ‘The Big Lunch’ might have some royal attendees in the afternoon; general consensus was that princesses Beatrice and Eugenie would be the royals who would swing by unannounced. 

Helmi Muhonen wrapped up the interviews and I had taken photos to illustrate the feeling and grandeur of ‘The Big Lunch’. Having found chairs to sit on, we both started working away at the article. Helmi started typing and I prepped the photos, only minutes away from sending them in. 

All of a sudden, people started gathering quickly in a nearby area of the park, some even running. I asked a passerby what was happening and she shouted ‘Will & Kate!’

I left my laptop and my equipment bag, grabbed my two cameras and moved quicker than I have ever done before. Helmi kindly looked after my things as I had to rush away and (hopefully) snap a picture or two of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. 

The atmosphere had changed in the park – it was electric as everyone wanted to catch a glimpse of the royal couple and looked at them in awe. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stopped and chatted to some of the children as they moved inside the human corridor of families who wanted face time with the royals. 

It felt like they appeared as quickly as they left, and the empty picnic blankets were again surrounded by families, friends and grandparents enjoying the sunshine. 

At the edge of the cordoned off park, on the right hand side of the Long Walk leading up to the gates of Windsor Castle, Helmi and I found a spot on the grass to sit. Helmi retyped her initial draft of the original article – now including the royal appearance – whilst I worked on the additional files of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and sent across the other photos from earlier that day. 

Photo taken on iPhone
Location Editorial Portrait Photography

Once the article had gone live on Helsingin Sanomat, our coverage of King Charles’s Coronation Weekend was now complete.

What a fun, eventful and historic weekend we had! 


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