Family turns their home into a bright pink Disney castle as 12-year-old daughter is crowned ‘queen’

Aimee Gilchrist, 12, won a prestigious gala in her hometown after her family helped her transform their home into a turreted Disney castle

Aimee with proud father Steven, 42, who helped build the castle
Aimee with proud father Steven, 42, who helped build the castle

The family of a Scottish schoolgirl who was crowned the winner of a prestigious gala have completely transformed their home into a pink two-storey fairytale castle – fit for any princess.

Aimee Gilchrist, 12, was voted this year’s Bo’Ness Gala Queen by classmates at her elementary school in January, the report daily record.

She then had to take part in a procession through the city in her dress in front of almost 10,000 people.

On her special day, Aimee wore a stunning ivory gown and tiara, which is considered the highest honor in town.

The Bo’ness Fair was first held during Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 1897 and is perhaps most famous for the dozens of themed “arches” appearing across the city to mark the event.

This year’s main theme was Beauty and the Beast, and the beautiful castle her family built was a part of the fair.

The Bo’Ness Children’s Fair Festival was first held during Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee

Aimee’s family completely transformed the front of their home into a fairytale castle 24 feet tall and 32 feet wide – complete with a series of turrets.

And she doesn’t just get a crown for her performance. She will also represent the city and perform a number of civic duties throughout the year. Your duties will likely range from opening ceremonies and presenting awards to visiting nursing homes and turning on the Christmas lights.

The schoolgirl, who celebrated her 12th birthday on Thursday, said: “I was shocked to be chosen but it’s the best thing ever.

“My sister Chloe and I were flower girls three years ago but I always wanted to be the queen.

“When I found out about this, I asked if I could have a castle the size of our house. It’s incredible. My friends love it.”

Mum Morag, 42, pediatric nurse, was born and raised in Bo’ness and was a fairy at the fair in 1986.

Dozens of other family members have held ceremonial roles for more than a century, from gift recipients and flower girls to maids of honor and queen of the fairies.

Aimee’s great-great-grandfather, Archie McKay, was Yeoman of the Guard at the 1920 event.

And Morag revealed her youngest daughter may have been born for the role.

She said: “Aimee was born the day before Bo’ness Fair (2010) and I was worried that I would miss the coronation at the park for the first time.

“When we were discharged from the hospital, we went straight to the fair. We got back in time for the procession. That was Aimee’s first day after her birth and exactly 12 years later she will be crowned herself.

“I’m very proud of Aimee because it’s the greatest honor one can have. She will be known as Queen for the rest of her life.”

Towering over every building on the street, the pink palace comes complete with a set of towers

Morag added: “When Aimee found out she was going to be Queen, she said she wanted a Beauty and the Beast castle for her bow.

“My only condition was that it shouldn’t be bigger than the house. My poor father George was commissioned to build it but he had help.”

Dad Steven, 42, said: “Aimee just takes it all.”

Local Alan Christie is a friend of Aimee’s grandfather and helped build the castle.

Speaking to The Record, he explained that while Aimee’s castle was unique in color and detail, it was “moderate” for Bo’ness Fair.

He said: “Aimee’s castle had been in the planning for months.

“We started sketching in January but didn’t start construction until March when a local farmer let us people into his barn.

“That gives a lot of space to bring things together and we’ve been working on that from March through to the last few weeks.

“We used plywood for the walls, the stained glass windows were a special plastic and the paint was just regular B&Q stuff, but we used a layer of PVA glue to make it waterproof, it’s an old fair trick that has been used for years!

“We were pleased with the finished product, it stands out with its detail and color but compared to previous submissions I’d say it’s pretty average for Bo’ness Fair.”

The Bo’ness Fair began as a celebration of miners’ freedom. By the late 18th century, all Scottish miners owned the pits they worked in, as did their children. In 1779 she dismissed an Act of Parliament.

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