Sasha Gardiner: the 2024 Lanimer Queen-elect

A mixture of excitement and nerves was palpable at New Lanark Primay School on Thursday morning as the Lanimer Queen-elect was chosen for 2024.
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It was the first year Sasha Gardiner, who moved to the village from Douglas two years ago with mum Lauren, had been eligible for a role.

The eleven-year-old decided to put her name in the hat for the top job and was over the moon when selected!

One of the P7 pupil’s first duties was to call her mum Lauren to share the news.

Sasha Gardiner (11), a P7 pupil at New Lanark Primary School, is the 2024 Lanimer Queen-elect.Sasha Gardiner (11), a P7 pupil at New Lanark Primary School, is the 2024 Lanimer Queen-elect.
Sasha Gardiner (11), a P7 pupil at New Lanark Primary School, is the 2024 Lanimer Queen-elect.

Lauren said: “The first thing I knew about it was when I got a call on Thursday morning. Sasha played it pretty cool but was clearly absolutely buzzing.

“She’s over the moon to have been selected and the whole family is really excited for her; it’s a huge honour to be Lanimer Day queen. She was never lucky enough to be selected for Douglas Gala – this might make up for it!”

Lauren works as a taxi driver for Lanark Taxis so has been too busy working to enjoy Lanimers. However, Sasha has been going to the event since she was a wee girl, thanks to her papa Owen Curley.

“Dad’s as proud as punch – he’s her biggest fan,” said Lauren. “He always used to take her to the Lanimer procession and to the shows.

“This is the first year she’s been eligible to take part so none of us can quite believe she’s been lucky enough to be selected as queen-elect.”

Also cheering on Sasha at the big day will be her wee brother Rory (2), dad Simon, step-mum Sarah, nana Joanne Curley, Lauren’s best friend Claire and the extended family from Douglas.

Lauren and Sasha have already been busy – selecting her gown and tiara.

“We went shopping on Saturday and after visiting many dress shops and trying on numerous dresses, she decided on the very first dress that she loved,” said Lauren.

“We also managed to get her tiara but we’ve still got a bit of shopping to do to find her gown for the ball. My outfit can wait until everything else is sorted!”

A talented artist, Sasha loves drawing and painting, Tik Tok and YouTube but she’s also adventurous too.

“She loves camping and kayaking and has also started joining me on regular visits to lochs to take part in cold water swimming,” said Lauren. “It’s really invigorating and Sasha loves it!”

Outgoing and bubbly, Sasha also has a keen eye for fashion and that has inspired the initial idea for her arch.

“She’s looking to do a fashionista theme with labels like Dior and Chanel,” said Lauren, “so I’ll be roping in my friends and family to help!”

The proud mum can’t wait to see her eldest child crowned – and enjoy the day off for Lanimers for a change.

She added: “I’m usually really busy with the taxis but I definitely won't be missing Sasha's crowning.

“It’ll be lovely to see her on the stage and it sounds like it’ll be pretty full on until then too. We’d both like to thank the Lanimer Committee for all their support.”

As for Sasha, she still can’t quite believe that she’s been selected as queen-elect.

She said: “I was really nervous when the name was pulled out – my hands were shaking – but my friends from school Cole and Lacey have been selected too.

“I can’t wait for Lanimer Day and sharing it with them and my family. It’s amazing.”

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