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Tennessee Renaissance Festival's Bellevue connection: Queen Elizabeth

The 16th century village of Covington Glen was packed as soon as the gates opened to the Tennessee Renaissance Festival on May 3, 2014. A beautiful day and a free ticket promotion resulted in an impressive turnout for the family-friendly festival near Franklin, Tenn. The first weekend of the Ren Faire is always Family Weekend with special discounts for families who come to enjoy the fun and meet HRH Queen Elizabeth.

Queen Elizabeth Kimberly Stockton greets visitors and knights young ones at the opening day of the 2014 Tennessee Renaissance Festival
Queen Elizabeth Kimberly Stockton greets visitors and knights young ones at the opening day of the 2014 Tennessee Renaissance Festival© Kathryn E. Darden. All rights reserved.
Tennessee Renaissance Festival's Queen Elizabeth Kimberly Stockton
Tennessee Renaissance Festival's Queen Elizabeth Kimberly Stockton© Kathryn E. Darden. All rights reserved.

There really is a village set up with artisans, vendors, entertainment and a marketplace, and there are lords and ladies, knights and peasants, fairies and trolls, and a variety of actors and "playtrons" on hand to entertain visitors. Live jousts, birds of prey, man-powered rides, a castle tour and other unique activities await guests.

Reigning over the event is Queen Elizabeth herself who greets visitors when they enter the grounds after the opening ceremonies, officiates over various games, is the focal point of the daily parade, and knights children every afternoon. Queen Elizabeth is played by Bellevue-area resident Kimberly Stockton. Stockton, who formerly lived in Bellevue, now resides a stone's throw away in Kingston Springs and works in Belle Meade, so Bellevue still claims her.

Stockton's humor, welcoming personality and gentle way with shy young ones have endeared her to festival goers. See the slideshow for photos of Kimberly Stockton, who sews her own royal costumes, as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth at the Tennessee Ren Fest. God Save the Queen!

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