Disney princess Grace’s big idea

Former Warriors cheerleader Grace Stanley

Former Warriors cheerleader Grace Stanley

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A DISNEY princess is bidding to bring back Wigan’s royal family and to revive the town’s carnival.

Former Warriors cheerleader Grace Stanley has returned to the borough after a stint playing the lead role in Disneyland Paris’ production of the Little Mermaid.

And now the ex-Winstanley College student has big plans to find Wigan’s latest crop of pageant royalty.

The 23-year-old dance teacher is due to hold auditions and has contacted the council about the possibility of bringing back the town’s carnival.

Grace, who as an eight-year-old was the Northern Counties Princess, said: “I want to bring royalty back to Wigan and am about to start a competition to search for eligible young ladies and it will be compulsory that the girls live in the Wigan area.

“Traditionally the royal group would work alongside the carnival but as Wigan doesn’t currently have one I will be organising the auditions in the hope that this acts as a boost to bringing the carnival back.

“Maybe one day these girls could end up doing the same as me and become a Disney Princess!” The competition will search for a Rosebud representative, for four to six-year-olds, Petal, for seven to nine, Princess, 10 to 14, Junior Queen, 14 to 16 and Queen 17 to 19.

Grace added: “There will be a tough interview process involved, we need to find girls who can represent the best of the town at lots of functions and be a role model to young ladies throughout the borough.

“When I was young I was a royal representative and spent many Christmas days in local hospitals visiting the sick and elderly.

“The chosen girls will also raise money for charities such as Joining Jack and make regular visits to Wigan and Leigh Hospice. It’s an exciting opportunity, it will be a very prestigious title to have.”

Although towns within the borough managed to maintain their annual carnivals more recently than the town centre, Wigan has not had its own fair for more than two decades. Hundreds of revellers would line the streets to join in the festivities which traditionally started with a fancy dress parade down Standishgate and would include the crowning ceremony for the carnival queen.

To register an interest in nominating someone for a role as part of Wigan’s royalty, please contact Grace on graceleoniestanley@live.co.uk for more information about the auditions which are scheduled to take place early in the new year.