What role does Floella Benjamin have in the coronation?
Floella Benjamin has a role in the coronation of King Charles III
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Baroness Floella Benjamin has a key role in the coronation.
The former children’s TV presenter, and now an author and peer, who chaired the Windrush Commemoration Committee, will carry Charles’s sceptre, traditionally known as the Rod Of Equity And Mercy, which represents his spiritual role. The ceremony is underway at Westminster Abbey on Saturday (6 May).
She said: “I feel honoured and privileged to be part of the historic coronation ceremony. To be selected to carry the Sovereign’s Sceptre With Dove, which represents spirituality, equity and mercy, is for me very symbolic as it’s everything I stand for and sends out a clear message that diversity and inclusion is being embraced.”
Baroness Benjamin is best known for presenting such children’s shows as Play School, Play Away, Jamboree and Fast Forward. She is not the only person to play a key role in the ceremoy at Westminster Abbey.
Lincolnshire farmer Francis Dymoke will perform the ancient duty of acting as the King’s champion during the coronation. He will not have to throw his gauntlet down and see if anyone accepts his challenge but instead will carry the Royal Standard during the Westminster Abbey ceremony.
Mr Dymoke, a former accountant turned farmer, is the 34th generation of his family to run the Scrivelsby country estate in Lincolnshire – with the role of King’s champion unusually attached to the land rather than his family. His claim to undertake the historic role during the Westminster Abbey ceremony was recently upheld by the Coronation Claims Office.
The office of King’s Champion began in the reign of William the Conqueror and it was the warrior’s role to ride a horse into Westminster Hall during the coronation banquet and challenge anyone who denied the sovereign’s right to the throne to combat.