A wooden hat, singing and dogs - The South celebrates the King

Around 250 people pitched up in Victoria Park, Ashford to watch the King's Coronation on a big screen. Credit: ITV Meridian

Hundreds of people pitched up in parks across the South to watch King's Coronation, despite the rain.

Armed with umbrellas, ponchos and gazebos, families crowded into Victoria Park in Ashford to watch the historic event on a big screen.

Phil and Danielle Richards were the first to arrive, erecting their gazebo at 8:00am to get the best spot for friends and family.

"I think it brings a sense of community, it was nice for Ashford Borough Council to put this on, and it's just nice to be around everyone else to celebrate something amazing."

  • WATCH: People in Ashford talk about why they are excited for the coronation

Danielle made herself a union-jack themed dress for the occasion and a matching bow-tie and pocket square for her husband.

"It was an excuse to make a dress, I found this material and thought I'd make us some outfits. You've got to dress up."

"Rain or sunshine, we were going to be here," their friend Albertine McInnes, added.

"I've got my umbrella and my legs in a bin-bag, I'm well prepared."

From left to right: Phil & Danielle Richards & Albertine McInnes were the first to arrive in Victoria Park, Ashford to watch the Coronation. Credit: ITV Meridian

Born in Folkestone, Mary Jeffery remembers going to the beach after watching the last Coronation when she was at school and says she was never going to miss the occasion.

She said: "I'm a royalist. I love the royal family. Everything that's associated with it, I wouldn't miss it for the world. I wanted to come to an event to soak up the atmosphere."

"God save the King," chanted Paul Coley at the big screen as His Majesty was crowned while his assistance dog Peanut watched on too.

"I was there when the Queen was crowned when I was six years of age and it's a part of history again."

Paul's assistance dog Peanut was one of several four-legged friends soaking up the atmosphere in the park too.

Paul Coley watching the Coronation in Victoria Park with his assistance dog Peanut (bottom)

Jess Weatherall, said: "We were worried about the weather but its lovely that everyone's looking forward to - maybe - a once in a lifetime occasion."

Christina Holdsworth and her family set up a huge dinner party for the occasion.

She told ITV Meridian: "I'm looking forward to sharing this moment with my grandkids in the future. I've got a one-year-old and I can't wait to tell them about today."

Other people from the South East made the journey to London to watch the coronation in person.

Theresa, from Banbury, had a birthday to remember as crowds and the police joined in to sing Happy Birthday to celebrate the occasion.

She said: "I'm having an absolutely fabulous time...all of these people have been so wonderful and it's just an amazing experience.

"I collect the royal memorabilia and it's got the 6th of May on it, so that's an added bonus as well for me."

  • WATCH: Police officers sing Happy Birthday to Banbury woman at The King's coronation

At Rochester Cathedral, hundreds of people gathered to watch the coronation on screens, with everyone invited to bring their own picnics.

James Taylor from Rainham in Kent stood out from the crowds and wore a homemade wooden crown constructed out of an old bass drum.

He said: "I have to dress up, so I thought I'd make a crown. It took me about a day. It's an old bass drum from a drum kit I had. I cut the frame out and I borrowed one of the wife's curtains from one of the rooms, which I don't think she'll get back now, and that's it!

"It looks the part but it's not heavy, it's just wobbly which adds to the great effect. It's a great item for a great day - it's lovely."

  • WATCH: James Taylor spoke to ITV Meridian's Kit Bradshaw about his homemade hat