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Daily Record
Daily Record
Kaiya Marjoribanks

Stirling fan aims to bring Bridgerton magic to castle this year for charity bash

A local Bridgerton fan is set to bring the Regency era to Stirling this summer - and raise cash for charities in the process.

Cynthia Holden has already had an “amazing” response to her Charity Bridgerton Ball at Stirling Castle in July.

But there is a whole weekend extravaganza of events planned, inspired by the hit Netflix show, with participants able to take part in all or some of what’s on offer, depending on their ticket choices.

Regency era dance lessons are available on Friday July 7, ready for a 19th century soiree with fine dining and dressing for the occasion, and entertainment from poets, musicians, singers and magicians.

Attendees can explore the Stirling shops in a promenade on Saturday July 8 and enjoy a 19th century scavenger hunt with exciting prizes.

The evening ball at Stirling Castle promises to immerse guests in royal pageantry, serenaded by musicians, with a drinks reception, open and silent auction, and a dinner followed by “an evening of merriment and dancing”.

Sunday offers afternoon tea at the Colessio Hotel and - weather permitting - a round or two of croquet.

“The response has been amazing,” said Cynthia. “Although I live in Clackmannanshire, my children go to school in Stirling and my friends live in Stirling.

“While the proceeds are going to charities, I’m doing my best to hire local and support local businesses. I love, love, love Bridgerton - but I love Stirling more. I’m a woman of color originally from Florida but have resided in Scotland for nearly 19 years.

“We are going to turn Stirling up! It is totally immersive and interactive which means everyone who is there will have a part to play and Regency dress is a must.

“We will have a diamond of the season but it’s not just for young girls, it’s for anyone, male, female, young and old, trans and LGBTQ, who exhibits the dress and spirit of the event. This encourages everyone to totally get into the spirit of the era.”

The weekend will raise funds for three charities - including local cause the Leighton Library. The oldest purpose-built library in Scotland, in Dunblane, is founded on the collection of Robert Leighton, Bishop of Dunblane, 1661-1670, later Archbishop of Glasgow, 1670-1674.

Passion4Fusion meanwhile aims to empower and advance the equal and active participation of the diverse ethnic minorities in all aspects of society through direct engagement not only with the diverse communities but also with relevant stakeholders, policy stakeholders at local and national levels.

The FAWCO (Federation of American Women’s Club Overseas) supports philanthropic goals of developing, administering and fundraising for programmes that improve the lives of women and children worldwide.

“Bridgerton is a trademarked name but because it is for charity, it is allowed,” said Cynthia. “All monies, outwith cost for the ball will go to the charities.

“On the Friday we will have hosts and hostesses welcoming our guests at Stirling Highland and Colessio hotels and giving them their guest pack that will include their dance cards, agenda and info.

“The Friday evening Soiree (Party of Parties) at the Stirling Highland Hotel will be a night to remember over three rooms including a harpist, poetry reading and maybe a singer, a live string quartet, Regency era dancing and of course socialising.

“Because it is interactive this will be everyone’s chance to get involved in the part they are playing.

“The Common Room is where the action will be. This music will be period but piped in and will have a mixed flavour. There will be gambling (for charity), a 360 machine and of course dancing.”

The Saturday promenade hopes to bring anywhere from 150 to 350 people into the shops and businesses of Stirling.

“I really want to support businesses because it has been so hard to keep afloat,” said Cynthia.

The Colessio Hotel in Stirling will host some of the events (Stirling Observer)

“On the Saturday night the Regency clad lords and ladies will make their way toward Stirling Castle for a drinks reception. “There will be a fayre in the cobbled areas of the castle with vendors including magicians, singers and actors.

“A play, by students from Stirling University, will be going on the entire time, captured on film and placed on Youtube. There will also be a drone filming from above.

“There will be private guided tours of the castle and of course the people will be acting out their roles.

The ball will go on until midnight when a piper will lead the guests out.

“Sunday, we will finish off the extravaganza with an afternoon tea held at the Colessio and will announce the diamond of the season and hand out the gifts.”

While 250 tickets have sold out, including to visitors from overseas, 100 have been put aside for the charities to sell. Any of those unsold will be given back and be made available for sale on February 1.

“We want people to don their best gowns, bring their most exquisite fans and wear their most fabulous shoes for a weekend of frivolity and interactive entertainment,” said Cynthia. “The Stirling Bridgerton Ball Extravaganza is the social event of the season.”

More details can be found at

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