Photos of Royal Court hopefuls at the tryouts for 2019

The signature setpiece for the 2019 Rose Parade, with Lela adding some sparkle. The piece was designed by Katie Lipp, graphic designer for the Tournament, and built by float and scenic design company AES. Lipp was a princess on the 2014 Royal Court.

by Laura Berthold Monteros

For many Pasadena area girls, it’s a rite of passage. For some, it’s a time to do something special with their friends. For others, they hope to make a statement. For all, the process is the same: Fill out an application, come to Tournament House on what is usually one of the hottest Saturdays of the year (or Monday for make-ups), get a number, sit for orientation by members of the outgoing Royal Court, and walk the gantlet of Queen & Court Committee judges. For 15 seconds, each girl has the opportunity to say why she would like to be on the Tournament of Roses Royal Court, and perhaps even becom the Rose Queen.

There is a small reward at the end. Docents lead group tours of Tournament House (the former Wrigley Mansion) throughout the day, and each girl gets a poster, a photo with a red long-stemmed rose, and two tickets to the Royal Ball a week or so later. And a few get to talk to The Rose Examiner! We talked to five young ladies and one gentleman at the tryouts on Sept. 8, and as usual, it was very interesting. They all attend high schools in Pasadena.

 

Lela is a senior at John Muir High School. Her ambition is to raise her GPA from 4.0 to 4.5, and be the valedictorian for her class. She is a member of the National Honor Society (NHS), vice president of the ASB, and treasurer of the BSU. She runs track and plays volleyball, but we talked about her service as a Student Ambassador for the Tournament.

“It’s pretty fun,” Lela said. She commented that it was “surprising” to learn  how nice and outgoing the people at the Tournament are. “They like to make jokes,” she added. She said that white suiters are sweet and are not as intimidating as one might think. (The term “white suiter” refers to members of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, because they wear white suits to events.) it feels like “a warm and welcoming environment,” she said.

She said the process was “less nerve-wracking than I envisioned.” She would like to inspire black and brown girls to try out for the Royal Court, and “not to shy away from open doors.”

 

Jocelyn, who attends Marshal Fundamental School, told The Rose Examiner that she was nervous, because she hadn’t dressed the way most of the other girls had, but “I’m glad I did it, because it was a pretty good experience.” She would tell people who might be unsure about trying out, “It’s not as scary as  you think.” All the girls and the staff were fun, she said.

For her statement to the judges, Jocelyn told us she said “The reason I’m here is because I’ve never seen another girl like me on the court.” (We didn’t get a photo, but we can vouch that Jocelyn has the demeanor and poise to be a princess.) She affirmed, “I think it would be cool for other girls like me to see themselves in a respected institution.”

Jocelyn is a member of NHS and has served in the cabinet at Marshall since her sophomore year. She’s on the tennis team and GSA, and takes “lots of AP classes.”

 

Back at “The Melody of Life” setpiece, we found a group of three. Sylvie and Richard attend Blair High School, and Haley attends Maranatha. Richard participated in the tryouts to get tickets to the ball—and yes, even though boys are not chosen for the Royal Court, they do get the same perks as the girls who try out. Still, he enjoyed the process and said it was “good practice for the future” to have to craft a quick statement. He plays flute in the jazz band and is vice president of the ASB.

Asked why she tried out, Sylvie said, “The tickets don’t hurt!” She said she agrees that it’s good practice. Being on the court would be a good opportunity to inspire people, especially children.

“I know the queen and court do a lot of outreach,” she said. I want to be a princess, she said, but for the community service, not the title. Sylvie plays clarinet in the jazz band, is on the tennis team, and serves the site counsel representative for the ASB.

Haley told us her family has watched the Rose Parade for 50 years, so “I’ve seen it every year of my life.” She looks up to the court and has seen the impact the Royal Courts have had on the community. “They do a lot of good things for Pasadena,” she said. Haley is on the volleyball team at Maranatha.

 

Gabriela attends John Marshall Fundamental School, and is a real Rose Parade aficionado. She has lived her entire life in Pasadena, and watches the parade with her dad every year. She has worked on floats, and has come to the parade for the past three years.

Being on the court would be “a good opportunity to meet new people,” Gabriels said, and “a great experience as well.” She added that it’s also a tradition at her school for girls to try out. She is in the Puente program and just joined Unidos, a club that focuses on community service.

 

Keep following The Rose Examiner and subscribe in the box at the left, to find out who will serve on the Royal Court for the 130th Tournament of Roses Parade!

 

Be a princess—or a queen! Rose Parade Royal Court applications are open for 2019

The 2018 Royal Court: center, 100th Rose Queen Isabella Marez; clockwise from top right, Rose Princesses Georgia Cervenka, Savannah Bradley, Lauren Buehner, Alexandra Artura, Sydney Pickering, and Julianne Lauenstein

by Laura Berthold Monteros

Each year, the Tournament of Roses takes seven regular, yet extraordinary, young women and turns them into a Royal Court with six princesses and one Rose Queen. Applications opened today for the 130th Rose Parade, to be held on Jan. 1, 2019. The women will represent the Tournament and City of Pasadena in the parade and at the 105th Rose Bowl Game, and perform duties from the time of selection through the selection of the next court in 2019. More information is available on the Royal Court webpage and the online application here.

The first round of tryouts is held over two days, Saturday, Sept. 8 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Monday, Sept. 10 from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.at Tournament House, 391 S. Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena. Schools are assigned specific time slots, but if an applicant cannot be there at that time, she may come during any of the tryout hours. In the first round, each applicant has 15 seconds in front of the Queen & Court Committee to state her badge number and why she wants to be on the Royal Court. The 11-member selection committee will not ask any questions nor ask the applicant to begin speaking.

Advice from previous Court members is to be confident, be genuine, and be yourself. The Tournament suggests wearing something that feels comfortable, reflects the girl’s personality, and will make a good first impression. This columnist has noticed that almost all the girls wear dresses, and many wear the same dress for the entire round of interviews. Participants are selected based upon a combination of qualities, including public speaking ability, poise, academic achievement, and community and school involvement.

To participate, an applicant must

  • Be a female, at least 17 years of age by December 31, 2018, and not more than 21 years of age before January 5, 2019
  • Be a resident of the Pasadena Area Community College District and able to provide verification of residence
  • Be a senior in high school or enrolled as a full-time student (minimum 12 units) in any accredited school or college in the Pasadena Area Community College District
  • Possess at least a 2.0 grade point average in both the current and previous years’ course work and able to provide verification of same
  • Be available to participate in person in all scheduled interview sessions
  • Register and complete the official Royal Court online application

At the tryouts, former Royal Court members brief applicants on what to expect and are available to answer questions. Tours of the historic Wrigley Mansion are offered and all the applicants are gifted with a rose, photo, official Rose Parade poster, and a ticket for two to the Royal Ball, a semi-formal dance hosted by the Tournament of Roses at the Pasadena Convention Center on Sept. 14.

Most of the 100 or so appearances occur from mid-October to the first week in January. For the many hours they serve, the young women on the Royal Court receive both tangible and intangible benefits. They serve in a world-renowned volunteer community, develop public speaking and etiquette skills, and receive a small educational scholarship, full wardrobe for appearances, and professional hairstyling, make-up application and instruction. Former Royal Court members also say they make lifelong friends.

The Royal Court is chosen from a field of around 900 applicants. Approximately 250 participants will be invited back for a second round of interviews; from that group, about 75 young women will be asked to participate in the third round of interviews. In late September, approximately 25 to 35 candidates will be announced as finalists. The seven-member Royal Court will be announced on Oct. 1 at Tournament House. The announcement and coronation of the Rose Queen is scheduled for the evening of Oct. 23.

Rose Parade Royal Court finalists for 2018 announced

Finalists for the 2018 Tournament of Roses Royal Court. Photo c. 2017 LB Monteros

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

The 37 finalists for the Rose Parade Royal Court were announced this afternoon at Tournament  House in Pasadena. Nearly 1,000 girls try out for the Court each September. By the end of month, the number has been reduced to three dozen finalists. Any one of those young ladies would be a good ambassador for the Tournament of Roses and the City of Pasadena, but only seven will ride the Queen & Court float along the Rose Parade route on Jan. 1, 2018. One of them will become the 100th Rose Queen.

The Royal Court will be announced on Oct. 2, and the Rose Queen will be crowned on Oct. 18. By the end of their year of service, the girls of the Court will have grown into young women who have been schooled in etiquette, poise, public speaking, how to  professionally apply makeup. They will have new hair styles, a wardrobe by Macy’s and a ball gown by Tadashi Shoji, and a small scholarship. These lessons will last the rest of their lives.

The young ladies in the photo above are

First row, from left: (#131) Ashley Mayo, La Salle High School; (#209) Katherine Beggs, Westridge School; (#699) Alexandra Artura, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy; Continue reading “Rose Parade Royal Court finalists for 2018 announced”

Royal Court hopefuls line up for an opportunity to be a princess in the 2018 Rose Parade

2017 Princesses Natalie Rose Petrosian, Lauren “Emi” Emiko Powers, and Maya Kawaguchi Khan performed one of the final Royal Court duties of orienting the hundreds of girls who were trying out for 2018.

 

by Laura Berthold Monteros

For many teenage girls living in the Pasadena area, trying out for the Tournament of Roses Royal Court is a family or school tradition. They come with their friends and each has a story about why she wants to represent the Tournament and the community in the 129th Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 2018 and throughout the year. Seven young women will be chosen to promote the 2018 theme “Making a Difference” by serving for a year on the 2018 Royal Court. One of those seven will become the 100th Rose Queen, an event so monumental that Pasadena Museum of History has an exhibit dedicated to the Royal Court.

We spoke with some of the teens who came on a beautiful Saturday morning with a cool high for the day of 90 degrees—much nicer than the 100+ temperatures of past tryouts. We caught them before their turn in front of the panel of judges to say, in a few seconds, why they wanted to be on the Court. They had a bit more time with The Rose Examiner! Here, with their photos, are their comments. Be sure to check out the gallery, too, which has lots of photos of the event. All the articles on the Royal Court are linked on this dedicated page as they are posted.  Continue reading “Royal Court hopefuls line up for an opportunity to be a princess in the 2018 Rose Parade”

Rose Parade Royal Court applications are open for the 100th Rose Queen

by Laura Berthold Monteros

There’s a special honor in store for the young woman who will be chosen as the Rose Queen for the 129th Rose Parade. She will be the 100th woman to grace the Queen’s float as it glides along Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena. She will be joined by six Princesses who share in experience of representing the Tournament of Roses and the City of Pasadena on Jan. 1, 2018 and throughout the year. Applications are now available on the Royal Court webpage.

2017 Rose Parade Royal Court: Clockwise from Queen Victoria Castellanos, Princesses Autumn Lundy, Audrey Cameron, Emi Powers, Shannon Larsuel, Natalie Petrosian, Maya Kawaguchi Khan
2017 Rose Parade Royal Court: Clockwise from Queen Victoria, Princesses Autumn, Audrey, Emi, Shannon, Natalie, Maya.

The first round of tryouts is held over two days, Saturday, Sept. 9 from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Monday, Sept. 11 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.at Tournament House, 391 S. Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena. Schools are assigned specific time slots, but if an applicant cannot be there at that time, she can come during any of the tryout hours. In the first round, each applicant has 15 seconds in front of the Queen & Court Committee to state her badge number and why she wants to be on the Royal Court. The 11-member selection committee will not ask any questions nor ask the applicant to begin speaking.

Advice from previous Court members is to be confident, be genuine, and be yourself. The Tournament suggests wearing something that feels comfortable, reflects the girl’s personality, and will make a good first impression. This column has noticed that almost all the girls wear dresses, and many wear the same dress for the entire round of interviews. Participants are selected based upon a combination of qualities, including public speaking ability, poise, academic achievement, and community and school involvement.

To participate, an applicant must

  • Be an unmarried, female resident of the  Pasadena Area Community College District and able to provide verification of residence;
  • Be a senior in high school or enrolled as a full-time student (minimum 12 units) in any accredited school or college in the Pasadena Area Community College District (a list is on the webpage);
  • Possess at least a 2.0 (C) non-weighted grade point average in both the current and previous years’ course work and able to provide verification of same;
  • Be at least 17 years of age by Dec. 31, 2017, and not more than 21 years of age before Jan. 5, 2018, with no children;
  • Register and complete the official Royal Court online application;
  • Be available to participate in all scheduled interview sessions.
Queen & Court judges at the first round of Royal Court tryouts in 2016
Queen & Court judges at the first round of Royal Court tryouts in 2016

At the tryouts, former Royal Court members brief applicants on what to expect and are available to answer questions. Tours of the historic Wrigley Mansion are offered and all the applicants are gifted with a rose, photo, official Rose Parade poster, and a ticket for two to the Royal Ball, a semi-formal dance hosted by the Tournament of Roses at the Pasadena Convention Center on Sept. 22.

The court will serve from October, 2017 to October, 2018, but most of the activity happens from mid-October to the first week in January, with around 100 appearances during that time. For all the many hours they serve, the young women on the Royal Court receive both tangible and intangible benefits. They serve in a world-renowned volunteer community, develop public speaking and etiquette skills, and make lifelong friendships, as well as receive a small educational scholarship, full wardrobe for appearances, professional hairstyling, make-up application and instruction, and 50-yard-line seats at the 104th Rose Bowl Game.

The Royal Court is chosen from a field of around 900 applicants. Approximately 250 participants will be invited back for a second round of interviews; from that group, about 75 young women will be asked to participate in the third round of interviews. On Sept. 27, approximately 25 to 35 candidates will be announced as finalists. The seven-member Royal Court will be announced on Oct. 2 at Tournament House. The announcement and coronation of the Rose Queen is scheduled for the evening of Oct. 18.

Helpful links:

Online application

Brochure (pdf)

 

Hundreds of girls try out for the 2017 Rose Parade Royal Court. Here are a few.

2016 Rose Princesses Natalie Hernandez-Barber and Donaly Marquez in their Royal Court summer frocks, in between orientation sessions.
2016 Rose Princesses Natalie Hernandez-Barber and Donaly Marquez in their Royal Court summer frocks, in between orientation sessions.

by Laura Berthold Monteros

It’s always a treat to talk to young women who try out for the Tournament of Roses Royal Court. It’s even sweeter to catch up with those who made it and have returned to Tournament House to explain the process to the hopefuls lined up on a warm Saturday morning in September. At the tryouts on Sept. 10, Rose Princesses Natalie Hernandez-Barber and Donaly Marquez from the 2016 Court found a few minutes between the groups of girls they were orienting to speak with us.

We spoke with a dozen young ladies after they had passed through the first round of judging and taken a tour of Tournament House. The photos and a little bit about each one are in the gallery below.

In the year since they sat on the porch listening to Princesses Emily Stoker and Gabrielle Current fill them in, Natalie and Donaly have made more than 100 appearances for the Tournament of Roses, finished high school and entered college, and gained lessons  Continue reading “Hundreds of girls try out for the 2017 Rose Parade Royal Court. Here are a few.”