TWO days earlier they had been supping pints in Soho’s Dog And Duck.
On that day, the Prince and Princess of Wales had travelled on the Elizabeth Line on the Tube to mix effortlessly with excited pub-goers.
Now, with the same easy confidence, they were front and centre of a global occasion, with all the pomp and pageantry the House of Windsor could muster.
Ushered into Westminster Abbey beneath giant umbrellas against the relentless rain, the pair dazzled in a kaleidoscope of gold braid, deep blues, red and ivory.
The pair — and their young family — took star billing in the Coronation that William had helped to choreograph.
The bond between King and beloved elder son had been there for all to see as William gently kissed his father’s left cheek after he was crowned.
The Prince had pledged to his father to become “your liege man of life and limb”.
A clearly emotional King whispered back to his heir: “Thank you, William.”
Second son Prince Harry — peeking from behind the red feather plume of Princess Anne’s towering hat — looked on from the relative nowhere land of Row Three.
Harry — who had sung along with gusto to the hymns — dashed off to Heathrow straight after the service.
Smiling and clutching the day’s order of service, he may have been taking the memento home to California as a present for son Archie, whose fourth birthday was on Saturday.
If William is increasingly confident of his role as first in line to the throne, then his son Prince George seems cut from the same cloth.
Aged just nine, George performed his Page of Honour duties to grandfather Charles with mature self- assurance.
Wearing a knee-length scarlet coat with gold trimmings over a white satin waistcoat, he appeared unruffled amid the glare of the public eye.
Royal expert Jonathan Sacerdoti called the Coronation a “great opportunity for Prince George to start more serious ceremonial duties”.
He added: “There’s a difficult balance to be struck between preparing younger royals for their lifetime of service and duty and maintaining their privacy so that they can grow up as peacefully as possible.”
William and Kate have tried to bring up their children in a grounded way.
Princess Charlotte, aged eight, showed her calm presence as she led five-year-old brother Prince Louis into the Abbey by the hand.
Louis, in smart blue tunic, likes to claim the royal limelight on the big occasions.
At the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations last year, he tried to sit on Charles’s lap.
He was more restrained on Saturday but soon began to look impatient after the two-hour service began.
When Charlotte — in ivory silk dress and silver headpiece — politely held up the order of service for him, he looked the other way.
Kate had to give him a talking to when he yawned and started to kick out his feet.
Louis left after the first hymn before returning ahead of the end of the service to join the family procession back to Buckingham Palace, where he seemed transfixed by the Red Arrows fly-past.
The Waleses are photogenic and increasingly front-of-centre members of The Firm.
One fashion writer said yesterday that Kate had “evolved into a staggering beauty” with “world-class style”.
Another fashion bigwig wrote of her resplendent Alexander McQueen Coronation outfit: “Long live McQueen!”
The sumptuous dress of ivory silk crepe featured embroidery incorporating rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock motifs symbolising the four nations of the United Kingdom.
Over the top of the creation was a deep blue Royal Victorian Order mantle.
With her hair swept back in an elegant updo, Kate, 41, wore a delicate leaf embroidery headpiece and finished the look with pearl and diamond earrings that had belonged to Princess Diana.
During a recent walkabout she told a wellwisher the family missed Diana every day.
William, 40, who wore the ceremonial dress uniform of the Welsh Guards beneath his mantle, is a man born to be King and seems increasingly content with his role.
A departure from Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation 70 years ago was the make-up of the 2023 guest list.
There were fewer aristocrats and brigadiers, replaced instead by actors, TV personalities, sports stars, war veterans and charity workers.
The court jesters were telly favourites Ant and Dec, who are ambassadors for the charity that the King founded, the Prince’s Trust.
Katy Perry — peeping out from beneath a wide-brimmed lilac bonnet — struggled to locate her pew.
The US singer, who performed at last night’s Coronation Concert at Windsor Castle, later tweeted: “Don’t worry guys — I found my seat.”
Nanny McPhee actress Dame Emma Thompson helped to relieve a fellow guest’s coughing fit by passing a lozenge along a line of attendees.
Also present were Dame Judi Dench, Lionel Richie, Dame Joanna Lumley, Stephen Fry and the UK’s Chief Medical Adviser Chris Whitty.
One unlikely pair to arrive together were high priest of goth rock Nick Cave and former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.
Pale, with jet-black hair, Cave said beforehand that while neither a monarchist nor a republican, he held “an inexplicable emotional attachment to the royals”.
The Australian singer added that he was intrigued by “the strangeness of them, the deeply eccentric nature of the whole affair that so perfectly reflects the unique weirdness of Britain itself”.
And he said of royal occasions: “I’m just drawn to that kind of thing — the bizarre, the uncanny, the stupefyingly spectacular, the awe-inspiring.”
It’s unlikely he would have been disappointed as events unfurled on Saturday.