Whether motivated by Britain’s bleak economic prospects, Charles’ lower popularity numbers than his late mother, or, as is most likely, a combination of the two, royal mania hasn’t gripped Britain in the same way. way he did during the events when the late queen was on the throne.

Most royal experts don’t believe the monarchy is about to collapse. But many agree that support, visibility and relevance are important to royalty. The alternative is for people to look at the golden carriages, multi-million dollar crown jewels and palaces, and ask: What is all this for?

Further evidence of this apathy can be seen in the dozen or so coronation events in the UK that have been canceled due to a lack of demand for tickets. That’s based on a Facebook search that’s likely a small sample of the true abandoned party total.

Under gray skies and British drizzle, a green space on London’s King’s Road that had been set aside for coronation picnics was still completely empty at noon (7 a.m. ET). On the A12, a busy motorway linking London and the neighboring county of Essex, motorists were greeted with a large spray-painted banner reading «DOWN WITH THE CROWN.»

Some 180 miles west of the epic spectacle in London, on the remote and wild west coast of Wales, staging a royal event seemed like a doddle, particularly after the popularity of a similar event for the Queen’s Jubilee last year. The plan for Aberaeron Yacht Club was to have a traditional “high tea by the sea” – “high tea” in this case means an “afternoon tea” made up of sandwiches, scones and, of course, that quintessential British gin-based cocktail. , Pimms, all for £17 (about $21).

“Limited tickets are available so book early to avoid disappointment!” the sign said. That was far from the case.

Protesters wave «Not My King» signs near Westminster Abbey on May 6, 2023. Sébastien Bozón / AFP – Getty Images

“We put up an ad, but I don’t think we got half a dozen responses,” said Amanda Harvey, 59, the club’s waitress. “People like royals, but I don’t think Charles is that popular. The Queen’s Jubilee sold out last year, this time it’s been a different story.»

Across Britain, the streets are festooned with Union Flag pennants and realistic window displays, but the decor is noticeably more subdued and reduced than it was at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee last year, when it seemed like everything the country was festooned with paraphernalia.

There are more than 600 street parties, according to the official coronation website. But many seem to be more of an excuse to celebrate a long holiday weekend and share a drink with the neighbours, with only a passing mention of Charles in the event blurb.

Lily Blue Gifts, a shop in Hagley in central England, also summed up the inclusive and royal-agnostic theme: «Whether you’re a true royal or just love a themed party and an extra day off At work, we’ve got you covered.”

A reveler celebrated his way in London.Piroschka van de Wouw / AP

In Hackney, the notoriously hipster district of east London, an «Alternative Coronation» celebration was already underway at Chats Palace arts center at 10am local time (5am ET). This event was much more focused on celebrating the attendees than showing submission to the king.

“We all deserve a crown!” said the flyer of him.

«The idea is for it to be a safe space for all Hackney families to come together, no matter what shape or size their family is,» said Perdie Bargh, producer of the event, which includes arts and crafts, a royal photo booth and a drag queen storytelling show.

Did Bargh organize the event because it’s realistic?

«Listen, I’m a producer and I love a song,» she said. “And this is a great theme!”