Beltane Queen and Court for 2022 unveiled

The Queen has returned to Peebles for the first time in three years.

By Hilary Scott
Monday, 16th May 2022, 11:56 am
Updated Monday, 16th May 2022, 11:56 am
Beltane Queen Elena at the May Ride on Sunday. Photo: Stephen Mathison.
Beltane Queen Elena at the May Ride on Sunday. Photo: Stephen Mathison.

Of course, it’s not Her Royal Majesty coming to celebrate her Golden Jubilee.

But last Thursday, 12-year-old Elena Chrystie was announced as the Beltane Queen of the town’s festival.

And when the Halyrude Primary pupil said she didn’t expect to be Beltane Queen – she truly meant it.

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Peebles Beltane Festival Court 2022. Photo: Stacy Birrell

Elena, lives in Cardrona on the outskirts of Peebles, and traditionally, the top four positions – Queen, Chief Maid, First and Second Courtiers, had to live within the town.

However, the committee decided to change this, and Elena and her family were completely oblivious.

Sitting in the community centre, when the last maid was called out, Elena thought it was game over. “I just thought, oh well, never mind, that’s my chance gone. My application must not have been good enough, but I’ll still get to ride my pony on the Wednesday ride-out.”

To her complete surprise, Elena was announced as Beltane Queen. “I was just so shocked,” she said. “I was overwhelmed and went weak at the knees.”

Proud parents, Laura and Rob, were also taken aback. “When she filled out her application we didn’t realise that changes were made to allow the children from Cardrona to apply for these positions,” said Laura.

“So when my phone rang on Thursday, and the chairman of the Beltane Committee said Elena was the Beltane Queen, I genuinely couldn’t believe it. We are thrilled for her.”

Following the announcement, members of the Ex-Serviceman’s Pipe Band led the procession along the High Street and onto Tweed Green were treated to ice cream.

Elena says she’s glad that Beltane is back on this year and can’t wait for the week-long festival in June.

She added: “I enjoy everything about Beltane week, but I’m mostly looking forward to going in the carriage and the crowning ceremony.”

Queen Elizabeth is known for her love of horses, and so is Queen Elena, who saddled up for the Peebles March Riding Association May Ride on Sunday. The full list of the Beltane Court is available on the Peebles Beltane Festival Facebook page.