I know it was a serious and historic service – and I did find it deeply affecting and moving – but at the same time I couldn’t stop the silly questions from popping into my head. Such as: what is he thinking right now? Why is wearing only one glove? And how heavy is the hat?

The constant contrasts of the ceremony were also apparent. The plain white shirt symbolising simplicity and the golden gown placed over it. The pledges to protect the poor and the hymn about the pleasantries of thy palaces. But I could feel it too, couldn’t you? The connection back to what we used to be, to the ones before, to history.

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I must admit, though, that my favourite bits were the glimpses we got behind the formal, pompy bits. Like George for example, a royal prince but just a typical kid really, looking slightly bored, thumbs itching to get back to his phone. It also made me wonder when children first understand what all of this really means. I also wonder when the rest of us will.

Of course, this is only my reaction, my personal response, and I appreciate you may have another. I appreciate you may think it was wonderful or a waste of money or somewhere in between and there will be some – many, maybe – who find it troubling that some folk are riding around in golden carriages while others can’t afford to pay for the heating.

The Herald: Prince of Wales touches St Edward's Crown on King Charles' headPrince of Wales touches St Edward's Crown on King Charles' head (Image: PA)

But maybe there’s something I can add to this. Maybe occasional, small encounters over the years with monarchy and the Royal Family and all the stuff that goes with it can reveal the ways in which royalty can work and can’t, the differences it can make, the power it possesses (and doesn’t), how it’s changed and hasn’t, and whether, ultimately, the multi-million-pound bill is worth it.

The first encounter was just the other day, in the build-up to the coronation. I was at Dumfries House in Ayrshire, the headquarters of The Prince’s Foundation, and there was a tea dance it was everything you’d expect really: cakes, bunting, waltzes. I talked to a nice lady in her 70s called Reece Wilkie who sat me down in front of portrait of the King and told me about her reaction when she heard she’d been invited to the coronation. She burst into tears.

That reaction is revealing really because it’s sometimes assumed everyone in Scotland has fallen out of love with the monarchy. It’s certainly true – and Mrs Wilkie acknowledged it – that younger people tend to be more sceptical. It’s also true support for the monarchy is about 10% lower in Scotland than in England. Perhaps unsurprisingly, supporters of independence (not really fans of the status quo) are particularly antipathetic to royalty.

Read more: King Charles III - The best images from the King's Coronation

But Mrs Wilkie and the other ladies and gentlemen waltzing their way round the hall at the tea dance are a reminder that, in large parts of Scottish society, support for the royal family still runs pretty deep. Maybe it’s not so obvious in certain parts of the country, and people in cities with phones in their hands are prone to assuming everyone is like them. They’re not. In large parts of Ayrshire, Moray, the Highlands, support for the monarchy (or bits of it) is still a thing. They feel affectionate about it. It’s about emotion and emotion is more powerful than money.

The Herald: King Charles during his Coronation at Westminster AbbeyKing Charles during his Coronation at Westminster Abbey (Image: PA)

I’m guessing some of you might not be convinced by an emotional argument for monarchy, the affection, just as you might be tempted to scoff at the people who camped out in the streets last week to get a good spot for this weekend’s ceremony. But let me tell you about another encounter. I’m in a crowd of people. I’m sitting on my dad’s shoulders. It’s 1977. Aberdeen.  A cheer goes up. And there she is. It’s the silver jubilee and I can still kind of feel the moment. It’s probably 90% nostalgia now, but nostalgia’s an emotion too. We, or some of us, felt it in ’77, and we felt it last year at the state funeral, and we felt it again yesterday when, deep in the abbey, Zadok the Priest rang out. Emotion wins.

But can it be the same now? Now the Queen’s gone? Another encounter. I’m working at The Herald, a long time ago, and the Queen is coming to our office. I line up with a few other colleagues and there she is again. Hat, of course. Lime green, like the jacket. About 5ft 5in or thereabouts, probably. She asks me what I do, or one of those sort of questions, and I tell her. We talk about the media for a minute or two, that’s it.

It was a banal encounter in many ways, certainly for her, but multiply it by a thousand, then a hundred thousand, then hundreds of thousands and you can see the effect. Those brief encounters between ordinary and ordinary-in-a-crown were what the status of the Queen ended up being about for many of us. Today at the coronation of her son, we’ve seen golden carriages and all the rest of it, but through it all, there was a kind of connection (all in her heads of course) that could get through gold. The Queen wasn’t ordinary – of course she wasn’t – but her long presence, and her ubiquity, was ordinary, and expected, and taken for granted, and appreciated. Can it be the same with King Charles? Not right now. Not yet. But give it time. That’s the point.

The Herald: The anointing screen was placed around King Charles during a sacred part of the CoronationThe anointing screen was placed around King Charles during a sacred part of the Coronation (Image: PA)

Next encounter. I’m on the former royal yacht Britannia, now berthed a little ignominiously next to a shopping centre in Leith. I’m talking to a man who worked on the ship from the 1950s to the day he retired in the 80s and he’s bemoaning the fact that it was mothballed (by Blair, boo). But it strikes me this is one of the other great powers of the monarchy: things change, stuff happens, there is a time when we have a big royal yacht and then there isn’t and through it all – sexual revolution, wars, technology, referendums, Brexit for God’s sake – the monarchy is a through-line, a point of constancy from how we used to be to how we are. Princess Anne put it well in her interview the other day: the point about monarchy is continuity and it’s pretty hard to achieve any other way, she said.  Too right. What are the alternatives? The man in Downing Street? The man in Bute House? God no.

Now an encounter with the new man himself. I’m at my local town hall, in New Cumnock in Ayrshire. The King– then the Prince of Wales of course – has come to open it. He does a little speech. He says that when the consortium he led bought Dumfries House, just up the road, it was always part of his plan to try to help the regeneration of the communities nearby. And he has. The town hall. The swimming pool. Dumfries House is now the biggest employer in the area. This is royalty as regeneration and a useful riposte to those who argue the monarchy costs too much.

The Herald: King Charles III - what would have been on his mind?King Charles III - what would have been on his mind? (Image: PA)

But let’s not talk only about money because we’ve reached the last encounter, this time with Princess Anne. I’m at Barony Hall in Glasgow and the Princess Royal has come along to mark the centenary of the veterans charity Erskine. It’s obvious she cares about it and it’s obvious the good it does. I speak to Bill McDowall, a former Scots Guard and a veteran of the Falklands. He tells me how bad things got when he got home. “I remember serving with the Scots Guards and being called a hero and I was sitting thinking: I can’t get a job. I had no prospects, there was no support, there was nothing.”

It was Erskine that helped Bill in the end, and it’s Erskine that Princess Anne has supported and promoted for years. And it has an effect. The royal effect. Her brother at Dumfries House. Her former sister in law being the first public figure to shake hands with an AIDS patient. Her nephew William telling young members of an LGBTQ group that he would be fine with any of his children being gay. That’s powerful and it’s proof that an institution that offers continuity, and appears not to change, can actually be a catalyst for change of the most profound kind.

I appreciate all these arguments may not move you. I appreciate that you may be sick to the back teeth of it all by now, or may have avoided it all together. I understand that the coronation quiche would stick in your craw. But yesterday was another opportunity for more of the encounters – close, distant, extraordinary, ordinary, face to face, through the telly – that we have with royalty. Individually they don’t really amount to much, but together they do. That’s the point. It’s the power they have.