By Caroline Lowbridge
A man who lifted King Charles III at the start of a medieval football game has recalled how he almost dropped him.
King Charles, who was then the Prince of Wales, was invited to start the Royal Shrovetide Football match in the Derbyshire town of Ashbourne in 2003.
Those who start the game are traditionally lifted on to the shoulders of two men, known as "escorts".
It was at this point that things went wrong.
"It was a bit of a nightmare to be fair," said Mark Harrison, who lifted the King along with another man called Dougie Sowter.
He added: "As we both went down Dougie got his arm in first, grabbed his leg and he pulled his trench coat tightly so I couldn't get my arm in. So I literally had to grab him with both hands and struggled to get him up."
Fortunately there was a third person standing behind, who helped by grabbing his coat.
"It was a tight struggle let's say," Mr Harrison said.
"We managed to get him up in the end and it all went well but it was close."
With the King back safely on the ground, they then escorted him to a plinth where he threw the ball into the air, which is known as "turning up".
Mr Harrison has fond memories of that day on 5 March 2003.
"When he met us he was a really nice bloke, he was down to earth, he had lost all his airs and graces because he realised he was talking to the lads," he said.
Mr Harrison had the same role in the Shrovetide Football game for about 20 or 30 years, after it was passed down from his father.
He has now passed on the honour to one of his three sons, but is still involved in the game by filming it every year.
"I retired because I'm too old," he said. "It's a young man's game."
King Charles III was not the first member of royalty asked to turn up the ball at Ashbourne's annual event.
The game has claimed royal status ever since his mother's uncle, later Edward VIII, did so in 1928. He reportedly suffered a bloody nose when he got in the way as play began.
The ball Edward threw was recently bought by a family in Ashbourne for £4,200, and they plan to display it at the town's heritage centre.
Follow BBC East Midlands on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Send your story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shrovetide balls sell for £12,500 at auction
Bruising Royal Shrovetide football match begins
Historic photos of Shrovetide scrum
Derby dad fire-bombed his own home after family row
Energy firm apologises for delays after overnight power cut in Chesterfield
Derby mum sheds four stone after seeing pictures of herself she 'hated'
Novelist visits Matlock museum to talk Peak District miners in the civil war
Police dispersal order used in Buxton town centre
PM defends mini-budget as 'urgent action' in difficult times
Government is undercutting institutions – Carney
Pfeiffer and Snoop lead tributes to rapper Coolio
What Tory MPs are saying about Kwarteng's future
Can my mortgage offer be withdrawn?
Americast: what to expect at the midterms
Nazanin cuts hair in support of Iran protests. Video
When are the next rail strikes?
'I was ready to buy a house, now I'm totally lost'
On the front line with Ukrainian troops in Kherson. Video
Shania Twain: I was touch and go with Covid
Same Lula but different Brazil as election looms
Pesky supermarket tactics making us spend more
An inside look into the marketing tips and tricks increasing the cost of the weekly shop
Jamie and Spencer search for Paul Rudd…
Are we all just six degrees of separation from our favourite celebrity?
'Tasted like soapy water and cardboard'
Why have non-alcoholic drinks become so popular?
The simple power of taking a break at work…
Why you should leave your desk and let your mind wander
Stewart Lee takes on cancel culture… Video
Lewis Capaldi covers Britney Spears! Video
The plane crash that shocked the world. Video
A guide to the pound’s historic slide… Audio
© 2022 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read about our approach to external linking.
Royal Shrovetide Football: 'We almost dropped King Charles III' – BBC
By Caroline Lowbridge