Long to rain over us: Heavy showers could hit King Charles' coronation

Aerial view of London

By Farouq Suleiman

LONDON (Reuters) - Heavy bursts of rain could dampen King Charles' coronation celebrations in London on Saturday, according to Britain's Met Office forecaster.

Rain is likely to hit the capital from mid-morning, Chief Meteorologist Matthew Lehnert said.

Charles is due to leave Buckingham Palace and travel along a mile-long ceremonial procession through the capital before the coronation ceremony at 1000 GMT.

Royal fans have already begun camping out along the route and crowds of visitors from around the world are expected to come out on the day to catch a glimpse of the king.

The coronation ceremony, which dates back 1,000 years, kicks off a weekend-long series of outdoor events, including a concert at Windsor Castle and street parties across the country.

Bad weather could also affect plans for a flypast of military aircraft. The Ministry of Defence said visibility and cloud conditions would need to be met, but if necessary the plans could be slimmed down. Cancellation would be a last resort, an MoD spokesperson said.

If it does rain on his parade, Charles will not be alone: the last two monarchs endured wet weather on their big day according to Met Office data.

The coronation of Queen Elizabeth in June 1953 saw "light rain throughout the day" while 8.2 millimetres (0.32 inches) of rain fell during George VI's 1937 crowning.

(Reporting by Farouq Suleiman; additional reporting by Kylie MacLellan, editing by William James and Janet Lawrence)