By Natalie Thomas and JEEVAN RAVINDRAN
LONDON (Reuters) – Margaret Tyler’s fascination with the British royal family began as a child, when she would cut out photos of the now-King Charles III and his sister, Princess Anne.
The 79-year-old, just four years older than the British monarch, is among the royal super fans who cannot contain her excitement for his coronation this Saturday.
“I haven’t got any brothers or sisters,” Tyler said. “And I think that made a difference, really. I sort of followed them, Princess Anne as a toddler, really, Prince Charles a bit older. So really, I do enjoy what I do.”
Tyler’s obsession has filled her home in northwest London, with rooms named after members of the royal family and little space to move among piles of royal memorabilia including flags, photos and china.
“Some people smoke, some people drink, some people go on holiday,” Tyler said. “I don’t do any of those things. I’m here, watching the royals.”
Like Tyler, 87-year-old Terry Hutt is also an avid royal fan, forming a special connection with them after the Queen Mother visited a church hit by a bomb while he and his family were sheltering during World War Two.
“I’ve got no favourites because they’re all friendly to me, anyway,” said Hutt, who keeps a record of letters he receives from the royals. “And they treat me as one of their own, I suppose.”
Hutt said his memorabilia brings him closer to the royals, and began collecting in earnest after his retirement. For the coronation, he hopes to make the journey to London from his home in Weston-Super-Mare, if a planned operation goes well.
“I love it when the royals have got big dos on,” said Tyler, who plans to watch all coronation footage and even stay up at night to watch repeats.
Gazing wistfully at a coronation-edition British flag with a photo of King Charles at its centre, Tyler reflected on Charles’s expression.
“He’s just got a nice look on his face, don’t you think? I think he does,” she said. “I think he’s thinking, ‘Oh god, what have I let myself in for?'”
(Reporting Jeevan Ravindran and Natalie Thomas; Additional reporting by Will Russell; Editing by Angus MacSwan)