Royal family still hopes Linlithgow will honour its Queen

With the Linlithgow Children’s Gala Day not taking place this Saturday as planned due to the Covid-19 restrictions, the Queen’s family will still mark the day, while encouraging locals to clap for their Queen.

Wednesday, 17th June 2020, 7:18 am
Linlithgow Queen of Hearts 2020, Hayden Dunleavie.

This year’s Linlithgow Queen of Hearts Hayden Dunleavie (11) plans to celebrate what would have been her big day, with a socially distanced outdoor family party at home. The crowning itself had been rescheduled for August, but now that has also been postponed due to the ongoing lockdown.

As well as Hayden’s family celebration, the people of Linlithgow are being encouraged to take to their doorsteps at 2pm on Saturday to clap at the time the Queen would normally be crowned on gala day.

Hayden’s mum Jay Arbuckle has mixed emotions.

Linlithgow Queen of Hearts 2020, Hayden Dunleavie.

She said: “We were really delighted, but unfortunately it’s a not a normal year. It has been a nightmare really. It’s just one of those things though.

“She is happy to be in the spotlight, although less than it would be in normal years.

“We are still looking forward to the crowning when it does take place, but it’s not going to be the same. Just the normal crowning and the lead up to it and everything else, it won’t be the same this year.

“I just feel sorry for all the kids. She is still going to have to be crowned this year as it wouldn’t work out for other gala queens in years to come.”

Looking to this Saturday, Jay said: “I have suggested doing a clap on the Gala Day at 2pm. And we are still having a wee fake crowning in our garden. We will obviously adhere to social distancing. Just family and friends.

“We are trying to make her big day as special as we can, and not let Covid ruin it.

“I have to order another dress, as the original is in Glasgow still we think. The girl there was making it but we have not heard what is happening now with Covid. The company might have gone bust, we don’t know.”

Speaking about this year’s big day, Linlithgow & Linlithgow Bridge Children’s Gala Day’s chairperson Marion Fleming said: “It is with deep regret that we announce the Linlithgow and Linlithgow Bridge Children’s Gala Day 2020 will not go ahead in August as we had hoped. Due to the restrictions in place with Covid-19 we have decided that it will not be possible to hold this year’s Gala Day in the traditional way.

“A crowning ceremony will take place to crown our Queen of Hearts Hayden, along with a small selection of the retinue but this will be behind closed doors. A date and venue will be arranged when it is safe to do so, and we will keep the community informed on this.

“The 2021 Gala Day will take place with children selected in February 2021 as we normally do. As a committee we will try our very best to include the children from the 2020 Gala Day (if they wish to be part of it) but at what capacity we are unsure of at this time.

“One thing we do know is that if we are to bring the 2020 children into the 2021 Gala Day we will require more committee members and support both in the lead up and on the day, we are a small committee and cannot do this without the support from new members.

“The entire Gala Day committee are devastated it is has come to this, but the health and safety of our community comes first.”