Daily staff report
The Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival announced Friday that late actor Michael Landon's granddaughter Rachel Lynn Matthews will be Queen Shenandoah LXXXVI.
Landon, best known for his years as one of Ben Cartwright's three sons on "Bonanza," as Charles Ingalls on "Little House on the Prairie" and as Jonathan on "Highway to Heaven," died in 1991. He raised nine children, according to a festival press release.
Matthews is the daughter of Queen Shenandoah LIII Leslie Ann Landon, who served in 1980, bringing several family members with her to Winchester to witness her reign. In 1996, her sister Shawna Leigh Landon served as Queen Shenandoah LXIX and in 2009, Ashley Taylor Landon, daughter of Michael Landon Jr., was Queen Shenandoah LXXXII.
The Landon family has maintained close contact with festival officials, the release said.
In an essay Matthews submitted to festival officials, she wrote, "My mom, Leslie Matthews, has only said wonderful things about the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival. ... She felt blessed to be such a part of something so special and that is exactly how I feel. I could not feel more blessed than I do now to be asked to be a part of such a beautiful tradition."
As queen, Matthews is expected to be part of traditional appearances at the festival, which runs from April 26 to May 5.