Grangemouth Sacred Heart’s royal duo

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This year’s Grangemouth Children’s Day is going to be extra special for a pair of excited 10-year-olds.

Nicole Loney and her Sacred Heart Primary school classmate Liam Shanks will be starring in the popular annual event, which takes place on the afternoon of Saturday, June 21.

Although she has attended in the past, it is the first time Nicole will be taking part in the parade and all eyes will be on her when she is crowned Children’s Day Queen for 2014 in Zetland Park.

She said: “My mum and dad were hyper when they found out and my mum started crying. I think I’m looking forward to the crowning ceremony most. I know I’ll enjoy it, but I’ll be a bit nervous at the same time.”

Now the hard work begins for the Loneys, as Nicole, her parents, brother Aidan (7) and a host of family and friends work together to construct an arch fit for a Queen.

“I was talking to my family about it and we decided that, because I really like musicals, we are going with a musical castle theme.”

Compared to Nicole, Liam is an old hand at this Children’s Day lark. He was a page boy at the event four years ago and now its Sacred Heart’s turn to provide the royal retinue once again he has been lucky, and popular, enough to take on the role of herald.

He said: “I don’t remember that much about it to be honest, but I remember being in a car with my friend Joseph during the parade and that was really good.

“This time I’ve got a speech to make and I’m already learning the script for that.”

In this World Cup year, football fan Liam and his family and friends are planning to build an arch with a soccer theme, featuring his two favourite players - Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Both Nicole and Liam thanked their classmates for voting for them and giving them the opportunity to enjoy such prominent roles in the big day, which will hopefully be dry and sunny.

The full retinue for Grangemouth Children’s Day 2014 is: Nicole Loney (Queen); Emma Beck and Niamh Haggart (Maids of Honour); Jessica Crangle, Neave Garrity, Lucy Gray, Mya Hay, Niamh Irvine, Abbie Jeffrey, Hope Rafferty and Leah Strathearn (Ladies in waiting); Liam Shanks (Herald); Levi McDonald (Courtier); Kerry Clark (Flower Girl); David Hunter and Jacob Trapp (Page Boys)