Royal fans were delighted to see King Charles, 74, and Queen Camilla, 75, appearing in a pre-recorded video as the semi-finals kicked off in Liverpool this evening.
The royals featured in the opening credits, in a Welcome to Liverpool film which follows a young boy from the north-west city who learns his hometown is hosting the 2023 Contest.
Their Majesties made the cameo on the first night of the semi-finals as they are pictured overseeing the preparations for the event, just weeks after they attended the M&S Bank Arena to officially open the stage for this year’s competition.
Also featured in the opening sequence is the late Paul O’Grady, who suddenly passed away last month at the age of 67.
The newly-crowned King and Queen, who have had a hugely busy weekend since their Coronation ceremony on Saturday, perhaps understandably could not make the event in person this evening.
However it is likely they will be watching at home, as the King revealed to UK entry Mae Muller, 25, he’d be ‘egging her on’ from home.
As he stood beside Queen Camilla following their official opening of the Eurovision stage where this year’s contest will be held on May 13, he wished her good luck.
Camilla, 65, added: ‘no nul points!’ – a reference to her wish that Mae would not repeat some of the UK’s Eurovision flops over the last few years.
Click here to resize this module
Elsewhere, the monarch met with Scott Mills, Hannah Waddingham and Rylan Clark, who will be hosting this year’s contest which is being held in the UK on behalf of war-torn Ukraine, which won the 2022 competition.
Chatting with Mae, who will be singing ‘I Wrote A Song’, Charles told her: ‘Good luck, we’ll be watching with great interest, egging you on.’
‘Thank you!’ she giggled. ‘No pressure. No nul points this year.’ ‘No nul points,’ Camilla agreed.
As King Charles and Queen Camilla made their surprise appearance in Liverpool this evening (albeit virtually), other members of the family represented the monarchy back in London as they hosted a garden party at Buckingham Palace.
The Prince and Princess of Wales joined with the Duke and Duchess if Edinburgh to host the special Coronation garden party which invited 500 Coronation Champions from around the UK to celebrate with them in a recognition of their extraordinary volunteering efforts.
As Princess Kate, 41, and Duchess Sophie, 58, arrived at the event in summery blue frocks which they had both worn previously to Royal Ascot, and Prince William, 40, and Prince Edward, wore top hats and tails, the foursome looked picture-perfect and well coordinated.
Mother-of-three Kate wore an Elie Saab dress and hat combo, which is a repeat of an outfit she once wore to Royal Ascot, accessorised with dazzling diamond and blue topaz ‘Lola’ earrings from Kiki McDonough and a clutch. Meanwhile her hair was styled in a sleek, intricate updo while her hat contained another floral headpiece – harking back to her show-stopping Coronation look.
At her side was Duchess Sophie who also opted for a blue dress – and had also previously worn the outfit at Royal Ascot. With both Prince William and Prince Edward in top hats and tails, the foursome looked sleek and co-ordinated.
The united foursome hosted the party amid reports King Charles wants to reform the monarchy to a ‘slimmed-down’ operation as royal experts claims his official Coronation portraits showed ‘the people who the King can depend on’.
As Kate began greeting the 500 champions and thanked them for their hard work, she looked regal in the dress and hat combo, which was a slightly more jazzed-up look from her appearance at the Slough Big Help Out on Bank Holiday Monday.
Meanwhile Sophie stunned in a deeper shade of blue with a frilled midi-dress with a full skirt and looked just as regal alongside Prince Edward and the rest of the family.
Yesterday royal expert Richard Fitzwilliam told MailOnline that King Charles had likely chosen very carefully how his coronation portraits were staged, with a very important position for Princess Anne – who was also present at today’s garden party.
Mr Fitzwilliams said: ‘This one is a strong forceful portrait of a monarch who knows his own mind and is very experienced.’
He added the Princess Royal’s proximity to the King in the group portrait ‘is no accident’, adding the fact she is ‘experienced and hard-working’ will have been noticed by Charles.
Noting the family shot included only four people under the age of 70, Mr Fitzwilliams said this will be a ‘challenge’ for the King in the future, who will need to decide ‘how slimmed down he wants the monarchy to be’.
As Kate and William walked down the steps outside the Palace and into the garden this afternoon, the Princess of Wales beamed at her husband, who appeared to be drawing her attention to something.
And as they met with guests who had been invited to the event as Coronation Champions, they heard some wonderful stories.
Dame Elizabeth Watts, who was dressed to the nines in a green maxi dress with a wild print, told the Prince of Wales, 41, she had slept on the street for three nights in order to catch a glimpse of Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth before her Coronation ceremony in June 1953.
Dame Elizabeth joined another 93-year-old guest, Aldith Grandison, at the garden party, who shared a cheeky joke with the Princess of Wales as they celebrated the volunteering efforts of the 500 volunteers invited to the event.
As the Prince of Wales shook Dame Elizabeth’s hand, she revealed she had been alive for three coronations – King George VI, Queen Elizabeth II, and King Charles III, to which William responded: ‘Three coronations, that’s amazing!’
The 93-year-old then revealed: ‘Your grandmother’s – I slept on the pavement for three nights and it poured with rain… it was wonderful.’
As she recalled where she had been the moment William’s great-grandfather King George VI was crowned, she said, ‘I had the measles’ at which point William burst into laughter.
He asked: ‘Did you still go?’ to which the royal fan replied: ‘Oh yes, yes.’
Elsewhere the Princess of Wales chatted to Ms Grandison, who attended the party with her daughter Jay Cee La Bouche, and asked the 93-year-old guest if she had any good jokes.
Kate admitted: ‘I’m terrible with jokes!’ as the guest playfully replied she was the ‘strict one’ – which caused the Princess to burst into laughter.
The mother-of-three joked: ‘How can you tell that?!’