The first woman to act as sword bearer during a royal visit to York has admitted to being "very nervous but also very excited" ahead of meeting King Charles.

Olivia Newton, 29, will become the only woman to ever take part in the Sword and Mace ceremony as she welcomes King Charles III and Camilla into York tomorrow (Wednesday).

Olivia, who works as a steward at the Mansion House in York, will be the first woman to bear the city sword in the ceremony's 600-year history, and her colleague Richard Gatecliffe will carry the mace.

Charles and Camilla will enter York through Micklegate Bar, where Monarchs traditionally enter the city, and be greeted by the York Civic Party and Lord Mayor, Councillor David Carr.

York Press: Olivia Newton, first woman Sword Bearer, with Richard Gatecliffe, the Mace BearerOlivia Newton, first woman Sword Bearer, with Richard Gatecliffe, the Mace Bearer (Image: Emily Horner)

Olivia, who was born in York and was a pupil at York College, said: "I'm very nervous but also very excited!

"I am deeply honoured to have been chosen for this historical event - this will be something to tell the grand-kids as they say!

"I'll get to Mansion House really early in the morning to practice many times, I don't want to have shaky hands!

"The Sword Bearer uniform was not made with a woman's frame in mind, so I hope it's not far too big on me - I'll wear the smallest size!"

York Press: The case of the city swords and mace at Mansion HouseThe case of the city swords and mace at Mansion House (Image: Richard Gatecliffe)

The King and Queen will be in York to unveil a statue of Queen Elizabeth II at York Minster. 

After entering Micklegate Bar, the King will approach the Sword and Mace bearers.

Olivia will draw the sword for the King to touch, and Richard will turn the mace with the crown face down, to symbolise that the Monarch is in the city.

The Sword and Mace ceremony is based on a historical tradition, which began in the British Roman era.

The pair will rehearse their roles tomorrow morning before the ceremony itself, which takes place late morning.

York Press: Close up of the mace (left) and Bowes sword (right)Close up of the mace (left) and Bowes sword (right) (Image: Emily Horner)

Olivia will wear a hat given to York by the Queen on her last visit to the city in 2012, and Richard will wear a hat from the Tudor era.

Olivia has chosen to bear the Bowes sword, which dates back to 1549, as it is the lightest of the two options - the other being the Sigsmund sword, which dates back to 1388.

The mace dates from 1396, and was remade in the era of King Charles II in 1660.

Over the centuries, the Sword and Mace bearers were highly regarded honours and highly paid roles.

Olivia added: "I started working at Mansion House in March and have since met Princess Anne when she came to York on May 19, so I will have met two Royals in six months!

"I saluted her with the sword at Mansion House - but not as part of the Sword and Mace ceremony."

Princess Anne did not enter York through Micklegate Bar on May 19, as that tradition is reserved for the Monarch.