AFTER eight years of climbing the ranks, Knutsford’s 150th Crown Bearer told the Guardian he felt lucky to be part of this year’s ‘special’ Royal May Day.

Edward Stone, of Sugar Pitt Lane, will be watched by thousands of festival-goers when he takes centre stage to crown this year’s May Queen Jasmine Dines on the Heath on May 3.

It is the final stage in the procession for the 13-year-old and he said he will miss taking part in the annual festivities.

Edward, a Year 9 student at Saint Nicholas High School, said: “I am usually nervous and excited and this year feels really special as I am the Crown Bearer and it’s the 150th anniversary of the May Day.

“I am excited about my family coming to watch but I really will miss doing it.”

In order to become Crown Bearer, Edward, a keen footballer and cricketer, had to complete a number of stages over an eight-year period.

He started off as Train Bearer at five-years-old, progressing to Page, then Herald, Falcon Bearer, Sword Bearer, Sceptre Bearer and finally Crown Bearer.

His favourite role has been Falcon Bearer as part of his costume was a fake bird and he enjoyed that the festival-goers thought the bird was real.

His elder brother Patrick also participated in the procession, taking on various roles over the years.

Edward’s mum Patricia said: “We didn’t realise until last year that Edward would be the Crown Bearer on such a special year.

“I have mixed feelings about it- it’s quite sad it has come to an end but it is such a nice ending.

“It’s been great for him as he knows so many people in Knutsford as a result.”

Edward is hoping to welcome family members from Kent and Ireland to share in the momentous occasion.