King Charles in a ceremonial carriage at his coronation

Claim that picture shows small crowd for coronation screening is Mostly False

The coronation of King Charles III took place last Saturday, with millions  watching on TV at home and at organised events across the UK. 

There were contrasting views on the importance of the event, and in Scotland a number of posts on social media claimed to show evidence of relative disinterest in the ceremony. 

One such post on Twitter was shared and liked thousands of times, showing a seemingly mostly empty public airing of the coronation in Edinburgh. 

Well, I think we can safely say that yesterday’s coronation highlighted some of the cultural differences between Scotland and England.

Social media post
Claim that picture shows small crowd for coronation screening is Mostly False 5

Ferret Fact Service looked into this claim and found it Mostly False.


The picture that forms the basis of the Twitter claim was of an event in Edinburgh’s Prince Street Gardens

This was one of many public screenings which took place in Scotland on Saturday 6 May. 

In some social media posts the picture was compared with a march for Scottish independence which was held in Glasgow on the same day, or with crowds at the coronation itself in London, to illustrate the difference in support and interest in the monarchy between Scotland and England. 

The photograph itself is real, and was taken on the day of the event. It was featured on the Scotsman’s live blog of the coronation at 10:10am on 6 May. 

However, it does present a misleading picture of the popularity of the event itself.

According to Edinburgh City Council, which organised the event, the area in front of the bandstand showing the coronation was open from 10am, with the coronation ceremony expected to start at 11am. 

This would mean that the picture that was widely shared would have been taken shortly after the event opened, and before the significant parts of the coronation had taken place. 

Numerous other pictures and videos were taken of the event throughout the day showing much larger crowds watching the coronation.

Recent polling has shown lower support for the monarchy in Scotland than across the UK in general. A poll by British Future in May 2022 found 59 per cent of Brits supported the continuation of the monarchy, while only 45 per cent of Scots agreed. 

Ferret Fact Service verdict: Mostly False

The image that went viral after King Charles III’s coronation was misleading. While it did show the event in Edinburgh’s Princes Street gardens, it was taken as crowds were first entering the arena after it had opened. Numerous pictures of the event taken later on in the day showed a larger crowd gathered to watch the event.

This claim is Mostly False

Photo credit: Katie Chan, CC BY-SA 4.0.

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