If many modern Britons felt ambivalent about the Coronation, the royal fans who streamed into London ahead of May 6 had no such mixed feelings about the dawn of the Carolean age—their enthusiasm in no way dampened by the on-and-off showers throughout the day. Amid a sea of Union Jack flags (and capes, and top hats, and wigs…) were well-wishers ranging from Ukrainian emigrées to Turks & Caicos tourists draped in pearls to an older gentleman who had decked his mobility scooter out in Coronation memorabilia.

There to capture the scene for Vogue? Photographer Sam Gregg, who spoke with members of the crowd as they indulged in Pimm’s cups and choruses of “Long live the King!”

“It’s all to do with tradition and duty—it’s the roots of society, of the nation, so that’s why I feel it’s an essential establishment,” one Welsh fan, bearing a My King placard, told him, while another neatly summed up many Brits’ thoughts about the event: “Irrespective of how you feel about the royal family, this is a historical moment.”

See all of Gregg’s images from the day, below.

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