Braving downpours will be worth it, say royal fans camping on The Mall

Fans of the royal family who have camped out days ahead of the Platinum Jubilee laughed off torrential downpours which they said were “worth it” to be part of the celebrations.

Rain failed to dampen the spirits of those for whom a handful of tents along the side of The Mall in central London will be home this week.

The royalists secured their spots early near Buckingham Palace in the hope they will get the best view of the Queen and her family.

Pat Hart, 46, and his wife Angie, 51, travelled to the capital on Saturday with their two daughters, from near Toronto in Canada.

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Pat and Angie Hart, from Canada, on The Mall (Aaron Chown/PA)

Mrs Hart is on her third trip for a big royal event, having camped out for the weddings of the Cambridges and the Sussexes.

She described camping out as “lots of fun”, adding: “Brits know how to do pomp.”

They will spend their first night camping on Tuesday and stay in position until after Trooping the Colour on Thursday.

Speaking after a downpour, Mrs Hart said: “We had some lovely British hail, and wind and rain but it’s worth it. By the end of it it’s always worth it and I think the harder it is maybe the more rewarding it is.”

Laughing, she added: “I’ll keep telling myself that anyway.”

Explaining why she wanted to travel to the UK and camp out to see the royals, she said: “I love the rich history. My grandmother was British and she taught me about England and Britain and the royal family.

Platinum Jubilee
Royal fans camping out on The Mall (Aaron Chown/PA)

“I have real respect and love for the Queen who has worked so tirelessly hard her whole life. And it’s the jubilee year and, honestly, the British know how to do ceremonial, the pomp and the pageantry, like nobody else. It’s pretty special.”

She described seeing the Queen as “the bucket list”, adding: “That’s why we’re camping out.”

Mrs Hart said they are “hoping and praying she’s up to it physically”.

The Queen has limited the Platinum Jubilee Trooping the Colour balcony appearance to working members of her family who carry out official public duties.

Eighteen royals will appear on Thursday including the monarch, if mobility problems allow, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are returning to the UK for the jubilee but will not be on the balcony on Thursday.

Another royal fan and camper, Mary-Jane Willows, said she is hoping to spot Harry at some stage, having “missed him” since his move to the US.

The 69-year-old, from Penzance in Cornwall, a retired chief executive of a children’s charity, said: “I think we’ve missed him, personally. I think I’m pleased he did what he did for his own mental health but I’ll be thrilled to see him back here.”

But she added that seeing the Queen will be “the highlight”.

She has previously camped out for William and Kate’s wedding, the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations and the Golden Jubilee.

Having set up camp on Tuesday morning and been there for the rain, she did not appear troubled by the wet weather.

She said: “That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? At the end of the day we’re in Britain, you’re going to get British weather.”

Asked if she hopes conditions will improve, she smiled and said: “I think the weather will do what the weather will do and we’ll just make the best of it.”

Musical rehearsals could be heard on Tuesday afternoon in front of Buckingham Palace with lights and a screen visible behind barriers set up at the top of The Mall.