All eyes turned to Buxton on Sunday for the start of the spa town’s annual well dressing festival.
A packed week-long programme of festivities began with the traditional blessing of the wells, followed immediately after by the crowning of the new 2014 queen.
Following a short service at St Anne’s Church, dignitaries and local ministers and clergy visited the town’s three wells - St Ann’s Well in The Crescent, the Children’s Well in Spring Gardens and the Higher Buxton Well on the Market Place - to bless each one in turn. The wells will remain on display until Monday.
The event marked the culmination of a successful 12 months for retiring Buxton Well Dressing Festival Queen Katelyn Mycock, who was accompanied by personality queen Tamara Jade Lacey, rosebud Mollie Voigt and their retinue.
Proceedings then moved to the Church of St John the Baptist for the crowning of the 2014 Buxton Wells Dressing Festival Queen Kelsie Johnson and rosebud Esme Anderson, in the company of their attendants Amy Brittain Cartlidge, Matilda Anderson, Alexandra Farlam and Evie Howe.
High Peak Deputy Mayor Cllr Lynn Stone was on hand to carry out crowning duties, in the company of guest of honour, Chapel-en-le-Frith-raised paralympian Anthony Kappes MBE.
Queen’s Secretary Maureen Kitchen said afterwards: “It was a lovely service and we were very honoured to have Anthony Kappes with us.
“The queen, rosebud and attendants were delighted to take up their roles and are looking forward to the year ahead.”
Royal duties began in earnest, with a reception in their honour immediately after the crowning ceremony. Other engagements have included prize-givings, tours of the town’s hospitals, nursing homes and sheltered accommodation centres, and the traditional opening of the Market Place fairground yesterday (Wednesday).
And on Saturday they will take their rightful place at the head of the carnival parade, which starts at 2pm on Station Road.
Paying tribute to the retiring festival royalty, Mrs Kitchen added: “The girls were all sorry to see their time come to an end. They have supported Buxton very well throughout the year.”