Royal day set to be a family affair

Buxton Wells Dressing Festival queen-elect, Lilly-Anne Owen.
Buxton Wells Dressing Festival queen-elect, Lilly-Anne Owen.

The Buxton Well Dressing 2015 carnival queen is to be crowned by her grandmother, who held the prestigious position herself in 1965.

The organising committee announced that Lilly-Anne Owen has been chosen for the role, following in the 50-year-old footsteps of Mary-Louise Johnston.

Richard Lower, carnival committee chair, said: “Knowing that Lilly-Anne’s grandmother had been carnival queen, the committee quickly decided that, in its 175th anniversary year, it would be fitting to ask Mary-Louise to crown her granddaughter.”

Mary-Louise was on holiday at the time and did not know Lilly-Anne had entered the contest.

She said: “It’s lovely to maintain a family tradition. I showed Lilly-Anne photos from my time as carnival queen but I had no idea that she would want to do it too.

“When my daughter phoned to tell me that Lilly-Anne had been chosen and the committee wanted me to crown her, I have to say there were tears. I was so proud.”

Lilly-Anne said: “It will be special and a real family affair. But it’s not just about the carnival day—it’s about representing Buxton at events and fundraising throughout the year. My grandmother has a few photos from her time, I’ll make sure I have lots more!”

A ceremony to crown this year’s Buxton Well Dressing Festival royalty will be held on Sunday July 5, along with the traditional blessing of the wells.

The carnival parade will take place on Saturday July 11, starting at 2pm.