WAS it muted? Or civilised? Whichever side you settle on, the Scottish coronation was nothing if not a mix of conflicting takes.

At the top of the historic Royal Mile - looking postcard-perfect in the July sunshine - the crowds waiting near St Giles' for the royal celebrations were, by any measure, thronging.

But just a little bit further down, the plump swell dwindled quickly until it became single file or empty along the barriers running down to the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

Quietly, well-wishers and curious tourists waited to view the new King and his wife head to the cathedral to receive the Honours of Scotland.

There was little clamour among the patient queues - except when protestors passed by bearing luminous yellow Not Our King placards.

Boos, hisses and ripostes of “You people don’t know when to stop” rang out from those frustrated by the dissenting voices. 

There were, however, plenty of enthusiastic voices too.

Among them were Nikki Dempster and Yvonne Weir who travelled from West Lothian with their three children to “see history” - and the pair are giddy at the whole thing.

The youngsters were sitting in camping chairs, one on an iPad and the other two glued to mobile phones. They may need a little convincing about the whole "seeing history" thing, but their mothers are sure they'll appreciate the experience in hindsight. 

The duo have been best friends since nursery and are both dotty about the royal family. 

"It's in our DNA," Ms Weir said, referencing her grandmother's and then mother's similar love of the royals, and the fact they both work for His Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

"I was on holiday when the Queen died," Ms Dempster said, "And you could just feel the hush settle over everyone when the news broke.

"I nearly flew home early to join Yvonne queueing to see the Queen lying in state."

She added: "We love these events. It's just the whole pomp and pageantry - it makes you proud to be British."

Ms Weir said: "We are so lucky to have a monarchy in this country. It makes me smile so much. I can't stop smiling." 

The first sign of royal pomp came as the sound of pipe and drums began faintly, faintly echoing in the distance. 

As the sound grew more intense and the stamp of marching feet came closer, the military pipe and drums bands kept onlookers gripped as they passed by.

Next came the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, the horses' dark coats gleaming, their hooves precisely clopping along the cobbles from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to West Parliament Square.

We all knew the royal family would be next - the King and his wife Camilla; the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay.

Those lining the route fell absolutely silent around 2pm, waiting to see the cavalcade approach. 

The marching instruments and the horses had noisily announced their approach well in advance but the cars bringing the senior royals would be silent and people were on notice.

And good thing too - suddenly a line of black cars came whipping past, all haste and no hello.

Blink and you might have missed it. The moment the cars past came the noisiest hubbub of the day, cries of surprise and "is that it?"

One trio of tourists from Canada - Karen and Kristin Bridges and Jess Ellenor - didn’t quite get what they were hoping for from the royal drive by.

On holiday from Ontario, the group were told Edinburgh's Royal Mile was a fun place to visit and, as soon as they saw the barriers and police presence, decided to hang about and see what was going on.

The King and Queen? Worth waiting for. Until they weren't.

"We didn't know what to expect," Ms Ellenor said. "This was a real surprise and we were excited to see Charles and Camilla."

"It was a little bit of a disappointment though," Karen Bridges added. "They went by so fast we didn't really see them. I think I might have seen one of King Charles's white gloves waving."

When I check my colleague's photos later, the King is not wearing gloves so what Ms Bridges spotted through the window is anyone's guess. 

As much as a five hour wait for some of the people along the route and - whoosh - they were gone. 

Around 2.15pm the service in St Giles' began and the waiting groups of folk on the Royal Mile quickly dispersed.

Within minutes it was any sunny summer day in Edinburgh, tourists tripping over one another and locals cantankerously snapping at anyone blocking the route.

But there were more treats in store for anyone who cared to hang around a little more. 

What goes up must come down and, following the service, the pipes and drums and the mounted regiments returned.

The real highlight for many was the Red Arrows flypast, over the top of Edinburgh Castle, down the old High Street, out and away.

"The Red Arrows took longer to go down the Royal Mile than the royals took to come up it," one man observed to no one in particular.

And that was it: the Honours of Scotland gifted to the King; and the King, as some but not all, felt it, the King gifting Scotland with his brief and fleeting presence.