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Abbey guests forced to wait six hours for toilet break (and some in 1953 couldn’t hold on)

The honour of being invited to the King's coronation will face one uncomfortable truth - there is no toilet in sight for hours.

In 1953, people took desperate measures while some lost control.

When orgainsers cleared up the scaffolding holding seats for the guests, they were horrified to discover urine and faeces form those who just couldn't wait

An inside view of Westminster Abbey in central London on May 6, 2023, ahead of the coronations of Britain’s King Charles III and Britain’s Camilla, Queen Consort (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
An inside view of Westminster Abbey in central London on May 6, 2023, ahead of the coronations of Britain’s King Charles III and Britain’s Camilla, Queen Consort (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Seventy years later and little has changed, it seems. VIP guests attending King Charles and Queen Camilla’s coronation service on Saturday will be forced to wait around six hours for a comfort break.

According to advice issued to guests, toilet facilities at Westminster Abbey are “very limited.” Though the ceremony doesn’t begin until 11am – lasting until 1pm – VIPs were told to arrive at 7.30am.

Comedian Adam Hills, who hosts Channel 4’s The Last Leg, said he had mapped out his toilet breaks accordingly.

Mr Hills was selected as part of a group of 14 "outstanding Australians" to join Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in representing the country at the coronation. He is joined by musician Nick Cave and footballer Sam Kerr, who currently plays for Chelsea.

Australian comedian Adam Hills mapped out his toilet breaks ahead of the ceremony (Getty Images)
Australian comedian Adam Hills mapped out his toilet breaks ahead of the ceremony (Getty Images)

"We need to be there at 7.30 in the morning, we’ve been told that where we check in there are toilets, but that is 600 metres from Westminster Abbey and once we’re seated, there’s limited toilet availability”, Mr Hills said.

"I’ve been doing literal dry runs where I’ve tried to take in as little amount of fluid as possible and space out the caffeine consumption and see how long I can go. I made it five hours earlier on, I think I’m looking pretty good for tomorrow," he joked on Friday.

Nick Cave arriving ahead of the coronation ceremony of King Charles III and Queen Camilla (PA)
Nick Cave arriving ahead of the coronation ceremony of King Charles III and Queen Camilla (PA)
Dame Joanna Lumley arrives at Westminster Abbey (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Dame Joanna Lumley arrives at Westminster Abbey (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, TV presenters Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly – Ant and Dec - are also attending the service, alongside Dame Emma Thompson, Lord Lloyd-Webber, Dame Judi Dench and Stephen Fry.

Mr McPartlin and Mr Donnelly are both goodwill ambassadors for The Prince’s Trust, a charity founded by King Charles in 1975 to help young people aged 11 to 30 into jobs, education and training.

The duo have hosted the charity’s annual awards 10 times and recently collaborated with the trust on a course to make the media industry more accessible.

Katy Perry and Edward Enninful are among the VIP guests (Getty Images)
Katy Perry and Edward Enninful are among the VIP guests (Getty Images)
First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska is also in attendance, but not her husband (PA)
First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska is also in attendance, but not her husband (PA)

US singer Katy Perry, British Vogue’s editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, BBC director-general Tim Davie, actress Dame Joanna Lumley and singer Lionel Richie, set to perform at the coronation concert on Sunday evening, are also in attendance.

The service is similarly packed with world leaders, including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Irish president Michael D Higgins, who spoke with King Charles at a reception at Buckingham Palace on Friday.

A watershed moment for both the UK and Ireland, Mr Higgins is the first Irish head of state to attend a coronation.