MONTROSE’S Rose Queen Erin McGlynn enjoyed an outdoor coronation on Sunday as the annual ceremony was blessed with fair weather.
The event returned to its original home in Dean’s Park on the Mid Links where a “good-sized crowd” watched as Erin was crowned by Aurelie Messaent from Luzarches, Montrose’s twin town in France.
The ceremony, which has been held annually since 1936, should have taken place as part of Montrose Highland Games but alternative arrangements had to be made after the games committee cancelled this year’s event, which should have gone ahead on Sunday, a month before they were due to take place.
There were concerns that the games’ coffers, already severely depleted after last year’s last-minute cancellation due to heavy rain, could have been drained entirely if the event had again been affected by the weather.
The crowning is usually carried out by the chieftain of Montrose Highland Games but this year the honour fell to Aurelie, who is currently visiting the town, as her father Marc is one of the founders of the successful Luzarches Highland Games, which have been held annually for the last decade, as well as a staunch supporter of the towns’ twinning agreement.
Rose Queen co-ordinator Helen Gove said Aurelie was delighted to have been asked.
She said: “She has been staying here for the last three weeks to help improve her English and has been working as a volunteer in the PDSA and DebRA shops as well as at Montrose Air Museum.
“Given that the games were cancelled and there was no chieftain to carry out the crowning, we felt that Aurelie has had a very strong connection with Highland games for a number of years and it would be nice to ask her.
“We had quite a good crowd of people come along to watch and the weather was good, so it wasn’t the disaster that we feared it might be. Afterwards the girls were presented with rose posies by their brothers and sisters.”
Nearby St Mary’s and St Peter’s Church had been organised as an alternative venue but the dry weather allowed Erin, accompanied by Rose Maids Megan Merino-Beattie and Katie Waghorn, with Rose Buds Sunny Bruce, Robyn Freeman, Ruby Hall and Kayla McDonald, visited residents of Fordmill Nursing Home, Dorward House and Montrose Nursing Home.
Mrs Gove added: “The girls had a great time and absolutely loved it, and the residents were really happy to see them.”
The girls’ next duty will be officially opening Fordmill’s fete on Saturday, August 25.