King's coronation: Farmer and former children's TV presenter given major roles in ceremony

A farmer and former children's television presenter will have major roles in the King's coronation, according to Buckingham Palace.

Francis Dymoke will act as the King's champion during the 6 May coronation - an ancient duty that involves carrying the Royal Standard.

The former accountant turned farmer is the 34th generation of his family to run the Scrivelsby country estate in Lincolnshire - with the King's champion role unusually attached to the land rather than his family.

The role began in William the Conqueror's reign and involved riding a horse into Westminster Hall during the coronation banquet and challenging anyone who denied the sovereign's right to the throne to fight.

Baroness Floella Benjamin, who is an author and peer, will carry King Charles's sceptre - traditionally known as the Rod Of Equity And Mercy - which represents his spiritual role.

Baroness Benjamin, who used to present Play School, 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."

Buckingham Palace released details of the dukes, bishops, peers and retired generals who are set to take on ceremonial duties when the King and Queen Consort are crowned, from carrying regalia in a procession to presenting the items to the royal couple.

The order of procession into Westminster Abbey has also been revealed, with faith leaders and representatives going first followed by governors-general, prime ministers and flag bearers from each of the 15 realms where the King is head of state.

Some of these countries, including Belize and Jamaica, have previously indicated they will move to become a republic.

Ahead of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty, the UK's flag bearer will be Cadet Warrant Officer Elliott Tyson-Lee.

The King and Queen Consort's procession will follow, led by the Marquess of Anglesey, the Duke of Westminster, the Earl of Caledon and the Earl of Dundee, who will carry the Standards of the Quarterings of the Royal Arms and the Standard of the Principality of Wales.

Buckingham Palace said: "Those undertaking these historic roles in the service have been chosen to recognise, thank and represent the nation due to their significant service, and include representatives from orders of chivalry, the military and wider public life."

Read more:
The nine key figures in King Charles's coronation ceremony
The meaning of the crowning ceremony explained
Odd traditions of coronations past and present
The order of coronation day: Here's how everything will happen

The announcements come after new polling suggested nearly half of the UK feels that King Charles is doing a good job in his new role.

Some 49% of those surveyed by Ipsos agree the new king is doing well, while 32% said he is doing neither a good nor bad job, with 9% saying he is doing a bad job.

Princess Kate and Prince William remain the most popular royals, according to the poll, while Queen Consort Camilla, and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan, were ranked the least popular.