Did you know that the Queen still has a champion?
The office of King's Champion or Queen's Champion (as the case may be), was first started in the reign of William the Conqueror.
Sir John Dymoke was the first to exercise the office on 16th July 1377, at the Coronation of Richard II, and the Dymoke family of Scrivelsby, Lincolnshire have continued to hold the office up to the present day.
Originally it was the champion's duty to ride, on a white charger, fully clad in armour, into Westminster Hall during the Coronation Ceremony.
There he threw down his gauntlet and challenged any person who dared to deny the sovereign's right to the throne. The King himself could not fight in single combat against anyone except an equal.
It was only at the Coronation of Queen Victoria in 1838 that the traditional ride and challenge was left out of the ceremony, Henry Dymoke was created a baronet by way of compensation.
At the Coronation of the present Queen in 1953, a member of the Dymoke family was present, but he did not throw down a gauntlet or challenge anyone …instead he had the honour of carrying the Royal Standard in the Coronation procession.
The role may have lost some of its original 'pazzaz' but he is still the 'Queen's Champion'.
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