(images, credit: Eileen Podmore)
Knutsford Royal May Day celebrations are undoubtedly the pinnacle of the town’s calendar – taking place each year on the first Saturday of May.
The May Day procession parades through the town, a tradition was started in 1864 by Rev Robert Clowes, and there’s a long list of characters who feature.
It varies slightly each year, but mainstays include: The Marshall, The Town Crier, Jack in the Green and the themes of The Wedding and A Country Garden plus a selection of nursery rhymes as well as morris dancers and various bands
The centrepiece, of course, is the Royal Court – the Royal May Queen, Ladies in Waiting, Court Ladies, Maid Marion, Maids of Honour and Crown Bearer.
This year’s Royal May Queen elect is Lily-May Newall, who was chosen last night (Tuesday 28th January) by the Knutsford Royal May Day committee.
There are, as you’d expect, a number of rules in place for the selection.
Firstly, applications are only invited from girls who have previously been candidates for Maids of Honour (whether or not they were selected for the role).
All candidates must have been characters in the parade at least twice since being candidates for Maids of Honour.
They must be aged between 11 and 13 years old on Tuesday 1st February 2020 and live within the boundaries of Knutsford.
No child whose sister has previously been May Queen is eligible.
Who’s this year’s Knutsford Royal May Queen?
This year’s Royal May Queen is 13-year-old Lily-May Newall, a year 8 pupil at Knutsford Academy.
She told us: “When they said my name I was in utter shock – I didn’t think I would get it.
“I’m so grateful and can’t wait for the day and the year ahead of me.”
Proud mum Melanie was delighted to hear the news.
She said: “I really didn’t think Lily would get it, because she has never been in the court but always been in the dancing.
“Me and her dad are so proud of her, so much so it made us cry! We cannot wait for the exciting times ahead this year.”
Below are some of those chosen to be part of the Royal Court for Knutsford Royal May Day 2020.
Royal May Queen: Lily-May Newall
Ladies in Waiting: Daisy Boardman, Maisie Wright (pictured with May Queen, centre)
Court Ladies: Erin Byrne, Aurora Lee-Kilgariff, Macey Naylor, Laura Silcock
Maid Marion: Zara Bowes
Maids of Honour: Amy Buckley, Cara Chaplin, Bella Jordan, Penelope O’Brien, Chloe McColl, Lucy Stainton
Crown Bearer: Jack Cunningham