Bo'ness Fair 2022: Reflecting on a magical year as Queen Ellie's reign comes to an end

For the last 12 months, Bo’ness has had Queen Ellie at its heart.

By Fiona Dobie
Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 6:23 pm

But with Fair Day just days away Ellie Van Der Hoek's reign is drawing to a close.

On Friday morning she will hand over the royal role to queen elect Aimee Gilchrist with crowds set to gather in the town’s Glebe Park to witness the traditional ceremony.

After being crowned in a small scale ceremony last August, which was held behind closed doors and streamed online to the world, Ellie has been fortunate to have been able to carry out a number of duties during her time as queen.

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Fair Queen Ellie Van Der Hoek is coming to the end of her reign. Pic: Michael Gillen.

As the government’s Covid-19 restrictions have eased in recent months, things have begun to return to something more like normality.

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Her mum Laura Van Der Hoek said: “She’s absolutely loved her reign.

"She’s loved getting the dress back on and getting her hair done.

Ellie Van Der Hoek was crowned Fair Queen last summer. Pic: Brian Muldoon.

"She's been very lucky for what she's done.

"She finished it off with the Commonwealth Games Baton coming to Kinneil House on Monday.

“She opened the garden at the hospital a few weeks ago and she enjoyed doing that for the elderly.

"The week before that she was at the dedication service for a Commonwealth Graves Commission headstone for Private Michael Muldoon.

2021 queen Ellie Van der Hoek (right) with ex queen Lily Harvey. Pic: Brian Muldoon.

"She’s done things that other queens have not done before.

"Things that have been a one off and she was glad to have the opportunity to be part of.

"For Ellie it’s been perfect.

"It’s been a magical year for her and she’s very lucky to have been able to do all these things, which Lily had been unable to do the year before because of Covid.”

Bo’ness Fair Queen Ellie Van Der Hoek cut a ribbon to declare the hospital garden open, ably assisted by patient Margaret King.

Now the Grange Primary pupil is ready to play her part in this year’s Fair as the ex queen.

Laura added: “We’re all set for Friday.

"It was Ellie’s dress showing last Saturday which was good.

"We were able to invite more family and friends than we could the year before when there were restrictions on numbers at events.

"That was the start of us getting excited for the Fair this year.

"Ellie just takes everything in her stride.

“She’s loved everything she’s done and she's looking forward to Fair E'en and the Fair.

"For us last year was perfect.

"It suited our family better being a smaller event to be honest as it meant we had more time to spend together as a family on the day, but we’re looking forward to this year and for Ellie to experience what it’s like to be part of a traditional Fair.”