For centuries, the King’s Champion challenged anyone who dared to question the right of a newly crowned monarch to rule. But while he no longer takes to horseback to issue a defiant cry to those who would deny the Sovereign’s status, he still plays an important part in the Coronation and the crowning of King Charles III will be no different.
Francis Dymoke’s family have held the role of King’s Champion since the Middle Ages. And, having proved that in the Coronation Court of Claims, he’ll be following in well worn footsteps on May 6th 2023.
Until the 19th century, he would have been expected to hop on to his trusty steed and canter into Westminster Hall to challenge anyone who disputed the power of the new king or queen. The spectacle took place at the start of the Coronation Banquet. However, the last of those came with the crowning of King George IV in 1821. Since then, the Champion of the King (or Queen) has taken a more low key role in the Coronation.
They now, usually, carry a standard or flag and that’s just what Francis Dymoke will do on May 6th 2023.
The King’s Champion at the Coronation of Charles III will bear The Royal Standard into Westminster Abbey as part of The Procession of The King and Queen that will take over the Abbey at the start of the ancient ceremony.
This role has been given to him after Francis Dymoke went to the Coronation Claims Office to prove that he had an historic right to take part in the service.
The Dymokes of Scrivelsby in Lincolnshire have held the role of King’s Champion since at least the 14th century. At the Coronation of King Richard II, it was noted that Sir John Dymoke performed the role of Champion. His wife, Margaret Marmion, was descended from a family who had performed the role of Champion for the Dukes of Normandy. The last of the family to ride into the Coronation Banquet was Sir Henry Dymoke who performed the duty in 1821.