PROUD residents on an Essex street say their road is the most patriotic in Britain – and their ‘King of the Road’ Coronation party will prove it.
Locals are teaming up to string hundreds of bunting flags across Leigham Court Drive, Leigh-on-Sea, where they have thrown parties for every Royal occasion since the Golden Jubilee in 2002.
The community champions – who have even been for tea at Buckingham Palace in recognition of their efforts for their neighbourhood – rubbished a YouGov survey claiming half of Brits were not interested in the Coronation.
The street’s 300 residents will stage a £2,500 singalong party on Saturday afternoon straight after watching the Coronation on TV in their homes.
An elderly dad on the road will don a Charles mask and crown, sit on a specially-constructed throne and judge their royal fancy dress and crown-making competitions, kicking off the open mike bash.
Organiser Gwen Cook, 54, who was invited to the Palace last year in recognition of her community work for the Big Lunch, said: “We are proud to be patriotic on our street – we’re proud of Britain and this moment in our history.
“We’ll all be together as a community, celebrating. There’s a real buzz and it’s a good feeling getting together.
“Hardly anyone alive can remember the last Coronation, and we’ll make our street look as good as possible to mark the occasion.
“We’ll all be raising a glass to Charles as we judge who is the king of our road’s royal fancy dress.”
Neighbour Ray Joyce 73, a retired energy engineer who is a dad-of-one, said: “That YouGov poll showing people aren’t keen on the Coronation certainly doesn’t reflect our street – there is no one here who doesn’t care about it.
“I’ve lived here for 10 years. We are patriotic and proud, proud of our country’s values.
“Our road’s older generation is showing our children they should also be proud.
“We’re putting up flags and our party will be a real ‘Best of British,’ with games for everyone and the community being together.”
Learning disabilities teacher Gwen, who has four children with husband Alan, 54, was one of just 10 community heroes invited to Buckingham Palace’s back garden for the Big Jubilee Lunch launch last year.
She said: “The Queen wasn’t there – but it was brilliant, surreal and such an honour.”
Just along the road, primary school teacher Ben Hawkins, 41, who met the Queen Mother when he was a boy, said Britain can enjoy celebrating the Coronation after sticking together amid the pandemic and inflation woes.
Ben, who has a one-year-old daughter, said: “I met the Queen Mum because I had been in Great Ormond Street Hospital. I was about eight, and the kids got to meet her when she opened an event. I shook her hand and I’ll never forget it.
“Now we are at the moment which is almost like a new dawn for us with a new, upbeat King.
“This is such a welcoming street and we are proud of our country, the way we are sticking together through Covid and the cost-of-living crisis. And now we’ll show how we can party for the Coronation.”
Party chiefs on the road say locals are getting together to decorate the street and continue their proud tradition of royal bashes.
Gwen said: “We’ve had parties for every Royal occasion since 2002’s Golden Jubilee, covering the Queen’s anniversaries and William and Harry’s weddings.
“We are putting our bunting up together and families are each making a crown for our competition, with papier-mâché and adapted hat designs with toilet roll insides added.
“And we’ve got traditional games like apple-bobbing, musical chairs and egg and spoon race.”
Ben said: “We’ll all join in with the songs on the open mike, so we’re looking forward to Sweet Caroline and God save the King.”
We are proud to be patriotic on our street – we’re proud of Britain
Locals say Charles is doing a great job as King, but wish Prince Harry would stop moaning about the family.
Gwen said: “Charles is his mother’s son – he’s stepped up and I’m impressed by the way he’s meeting so many people and often seen looking happy.”
Ray said: “It’s so important he and Camilla are doing so many walkabouts. They are bringing stability after the Queen passed.
“Harry is a sad case. He obviously bears emotional scars and seems to be a person trying to see his destiny. But he’s only damaging himself, not the family. We wish him well.”
Ben said: “After the Queen died, I went to Buckingham Palace the day her coffin arrived to leave flowers and say a prayer. It was really emotional.
“Now it’s a new chapter. Charles is showing what a good job he is doing and we can see William continuing Diana’s legacy with such great charity work and helping people.
“And then there is George and the young royals, whose antics make us all smile.
“Now we’ll be celebrating what Britain is about at our street party.”