Shirebrook's royal fan James is Coronation celebrity in his Union Jack suit
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For James and friend Dean Caston marked the occasion by wearing Union Jack suits that attracted the admiring eyes of the crowds on The Mall and the international media.
"It was a big surprise and something we didn’t expect at all,” said James, 38. “But because we were dressed up, people kept coming up to us randomly and asking for selfies!
"Also, TV news crews from countries such as Ireland, Austria and the Netherlands approached us, wanting interviews.”
The Coronation was the latest of dozens of royal events that James, a communications manager for a local council, has been to in recent years.
To bag a decent viewing place for Saturday’s ceremonial processions between Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey, he camped overnight. He got up in the early hours of Friday, caught the first available train and arrived in London at 7 am.
"A few people had been there all week, which was a bit excessive!” James said. “But we were lucky enough to get a good spot on the front row of The Mall, near Horse Guards Parade.
"It was the best view that was available because it gave us a good chance to see the appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
"For the Friday night, I had a camping chair, a sleeping bag and a fleece blanket with a Union Jack on it, although I didn’t get too much sleep, to be honest!”
Not even inclement weather could dampen the spirits of the crowds. “We had a real downpour on Friday lunchtime,” said James. “But although it rained from mid-morning on the Saturday, it wasn’t too heavy. If you had a coat and a hood or an umbrella, you were fine.”
James is a keen photographer and managed to get some excellent snaps of the occasion. As a royal expert and commentator, he also did pieces for BBC TV’s ‘Look North’ programme and a couple of radio stations.
"It all went very well,” he said. “There were hundreds of thousands of people in and around The Mall to witness the occasion and show their support for the new King and Queen.
“The atmosphere was jolly, and people were very excitable.
"As well as Dean, I met up with two other royal enthusiasts, Caroline and Catrina, who I have met several times when attending events in Edinburgh.
"The Coronation service was broadcast on loud speakers, and we led the singing of the national anthem among the crowds!
"The highlight for me, though, was seeing the King and Queen in the historic Gold State Coach, wearing their crowns.
"I remember, when I was young, seeing pictures of the Coronation in 1953 and saying I would like to be there the next time one was held. So the weekend’s event fulfilled one ambition of mine at least.”
James’s dedication to the Royal Family continues next month when he returns to London for the annual Trooping The Colour ceremony.