Gala Day is held on the Saturday following the Linlithgow Marches.
definition of the date for The Marches is:
first Tuesday after the second Thursday in June.
The next Gala Day is Saturday, 22nd June 2013
Gala Day procession starts at 12 noon. The Ceremonies at The Peel start
from approximately 1:00 pm. The Ceremonies usually finish between 2:00
pm and 2:30 pm.
Gala Day takes place in the historic Royal Town of Linlithgow and
Linlithgow Bridge, West Lothian, Scotland.
is less than 20 miles from Edinburgh and 35 miles from Glasgow. It is
well served by road with links to the Motorway network at junctions 3
and 4 of the M9. There are frequent links by rail from Edinburgh and
The Children's Gala
Procession starts from Linlithgow Bridge at 12 noon. The procession
Main Street along Falkirk Road, High Street towards the Cross. From the
Cross the Procession continues along to the Low Port and then returns
again to the Cross.From the Cross the Procession continues towards
Linlithgow Palace and The Peel at Linlithgow Loch.
note that road diversions and closures are put in place and controlled
by the police on the Gala Day for the duration of the procession. The
diversions are entirely within the control of the police. As a guide
the road closures have been implemented from approximately 11:00 am to
1:30 pm in previous years. However these arrangements are decided by
the police with no reference to the Gala Day Committee and may change
in any year.
Queen Crowning Ceremony
The Crowning of the
Children's Gala Day Queen takes place on the stage erected at The Peel
following the procession at approximately 1:00 pm.
This is followed by
entertainment at The Peel.
If the weather is wet
the retinue may be transported by bus to St Michael's Church for the
Crowning Ceremony. (Parents must remember their wet weather tickets as
space is strictly limited. Entry will be refused without a ticket.)
The procession will
still take place, with those consenting to take part, if the bands can
are the characters?
The Gala Day Queen
& Retinue are chosen by drawing lots.
The names of
participants are drawn from P1, P4 & P7 girls and P1 &
P7 boys attending Linlithgow Bridge Primary, Linlithgow Primary, Low
Port Primary, Springfield Primary & St Joseph's Primary. The
children must also live within the area defined by the rules of the
Gala Day. If a child does not meet all of these requirements then they
will not be entered into the drawing of lots. Any clarification should
be sought from the Gala Day Committee. Parents do have a chance to
withdraw their child's name from the draw through their school.
in early February if their child is invited to take part in the Gala.
Written acceptance of the invitation is required, usually by the end of
the 2nd week in February.
The Retinue for the
Gala Day is made up of the following children:
Chief Lady in Waiting
1st Lady in Waiting
2nd Lady in Waiting
1st Maid of Honour
2nd Maid of Honour
Mary Queen of Scots
Trainbearer (2) - Primary 1
Crown Bearer - Primary 1 boy
Sceptre Bearer - Primary 1 boy
Scottish Soldier (2) - Primary 7
Guard of Honour (12) - Primary 7
Bower Girls (12) - Primary 7
Fairies - Primary 1
Flower Girls - Primary 4
Flag Bearers (2) - Primary 7
A parents meeting is
held about 2 weeks after the deadline for acceptance. This is early
March. A lot of information is given at this meeting about rehearsals,
the format of the Gala Day activities and other arrangements. Questions
can also be asked of the Gala Day Committee members. It is highly
recommended that the parents of the paired participants meet and
exchange contact details. This will be needed later to discuss such
things as dress styles & colours, fittings and other
At the Parents Meeting
photographs are taken of the following participants for possible
publication in the Gala Day Programme.
Chief Lady in Waiting
start 6 weeks before the Gala Day.
They are usually held every Tuesday night (except for Marches Day),
starting the second week in May.
Details of the rehearsals are given in the information provided at the
Parents Meeting. Details are also available in the password protected
Parents Information area of the web site.
costumes are needed?
is given by the Gala Day Committee.
The Fairies are to be dressed in white knee length dresses with wings,
wand and head dress.
All of the other girls must be dressed in their matched pairs.
The dresses are to be either full length or ballerina length.
Any colour can be chosen for the dresses.
The same colour of dress for all of the Flower Girls or Bower Girls is
not necessary. However the same colour theme for each pair of girls
must be maintained.
Flower Girls require a basket of flowers to carry during the
procession. Parents are provided with details of the requirements at
the Parents Meeting.
Bower Girls carry a frame decorated with flowers during the
proceedings. Parents are provided with details of the requirements at
the Parents Meeting.
The boys are required to wear a traditional kilt outfit on the Gala
Day. Arrangements are made by Gala Day Committee for the boys to be
measured for the outfits. Measurements are normally taken the same week
of the Parents Information Meeting in March. The parents are
responsible for payment of the kilt hire. The Committee provides the
halberds that are carried by the Guards during the Gala Day.
The Main Retinue and Flower Girls take part in The Marches almost a
year after the Gala Day. Try to ensure that there is enough growing
room in the costumes!
are no official photographs.
of the participants houses
Decoration of houses
is a matter left entirely to the parents discretion.
There is no requirement for a decorated arch or house front.
The Gala Day Committee are unable to give any guidelines or assistance
competition is held
in which the decorated houses are judged and prizes awarded.
It is not necessary to enter the competition.
There are a number of categories in the competition, including:
Large decorated arch
Decorated house front
An entry form is distributed to each of the children taking part at one
of the rehearsals.
The form is to be returned by the rehearsal before the Marches (the
first week in June).
of the competition
Judging is held on the
morning of the Children's Gala.
The judging starts at 08:00 am!
An early start to a busy day!
The houses are usually decorated on the Friday before the Gala Day. (It
can take a lot longer than you think to put up the complex structures.)
There is a tradition
of people viewing all of the decorated houses.
This takes place from the Friday evening to the Sunday morning. Traffic
chaos can occur in narrow streets!
Most of the decorations are removed on the Sunday afternoon. The larger
decorated house fronts are usually removed during the week.
the Gala Day
Gala Queen has a number of duties and appearances to carry out through
the year of her reign. On a number of these occasions the Gala Queen is
assisted by her Trainbearers.
The events attended by the Gala Day Queen include:
The Linlithgow Union
Canal Society Fun Day
Welcoming Santa at the Linlithgow Union Canal Basin
Switching on the Linlithgow Christmas Lights
The Linlithgow Marches
Please note that the above
questions are meant as a guide only and may change at any time without
notice. The latest position must be sought from the Committee.
developed & maintained by: Ewan Greig
Page Last Updated: 29 January 2013
The factual accuracy of the contents has not been independently
checked. The information is offered as is, with no warranty. No
liability is accepted for anything or any losses as a result of
information contained in these pages.