The Royal Court

2016 Royal Court Finalists

Each September, close to 1,000 young women vie for the honor of serving as a member of the Tournament of Roses Royal Court. Multiple rounds of interviews take place over the course of a month, with the Tournament’s Queen and Court Committee looking for those participants with the right combination of poise, personality, public speaking ability and scholastic achievement. Royal Court members become ambassadors of the Tournament, and selecting the right young women is an important task.

When that selection process concludes, the Royal Court will become part of a beloved legacy, reigning over the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl Game. It is an honor to serve on the Royal Court, but a tremendous responsibility as well. Before riding their specially-designed float in the Rose Parade, the Royal Court members will attend well over 100 public and media functions, all while maintaining their school work and other extracurricular activities.

Eligibility Requirements

The 2015-2016 Royal Court tryouts will occur late summer. To be eligible for the 2015-2016 Royal Court, all of the following criteria must have been met:

  • 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 (see list below).
  • 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 at least 17 years of age by December 31, 2015, and not more than 21 years of age before January 5, 2016, with no children.
  • Be available to participate in all scheduled interview sessions.
  • Complete the official application linked below and participate in one of the initial interview sessions.

Eligible Schools

Students who met the qualifications listed above and who are enrolled in the schools listed here are eligible to participate in the 2015-2016 Royal Court Tryouts.

AGBU Vatche and Tamar Manoukian High School Maranatha High School
Alverno High School Mayfield Senior School
Arcadia High School Pasadena City College
Arroyo High School Pasadena High School
Arroyo Pacific Academy Polytechnic School
Blair High School Rio Hondo Preparatory School
California Institute of Technology Rosemead High School
Excelsior School San Marino High School
Flintridge Preparatory School South Pasadena High School
Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy Southwestern Academy
John Marshall Fundamental High School Temple City High School
John Muir High School The Waverly School
La Cañada High School Westridge School
La Salle High School  


Royal Court FAQs

Is there an entry fee to apply?
No. In fact, if you are selected as a member of the Royal Court, you will receive a small educational scholarship, wardrobe for your appearances, professional hairstyling, make-up application and instruction, transportation to and from Royal Court activities and a number other benefits.

Who selects the Royal Court?
Eleven men and women make up the selection committee. They are all volunteer members of the Tournament of Roses who have been appointed to serve on the Queen & Court Committee. The committee members and their spouses also serve as chaperones for all Royal Court activities and appearances.

What should I expect at the initial tryout session?
If you have not filled out an application prior to coming to the initial tryout session, you will need to do so when you arrive. (We strongly encourage you to do the application online in advance.) You will be assigned a number and there will be a brief orientation session before you are directed to make your introduction to the selection committee. One or more former Royal Court members will be available to answer your questions, and tours of the historic Tournament House will be offered. You should plan to spend two to three hours at your first session.

What should I say during my introduction?
You have 15 seconds in front of the selection committee to state your number and tell them why you are participating in the Royal Court. The selection committee will not ask you any questions nor will they ask you to begin speaking. Keep it short and to the point.

What happens after the initial interview session?
After all of the participants have met the committee, its members meet and determine who to invite for the next step in the selection process. Following the initial session, approximately 250 young women are asked to return for another interview. Participation then is narrowed to about 75 candidates, and then to approximately 25 finalists, from whom the seven Royal Court members are selected.

How will I know if I am to attend the next round?
Following each round of interviews, participants are notified by email if they are being invited to participate in the next interview session.

What is the selection committee looking for?
Participants are evaluated on a wide range of qualities including poise, personality, speaking ability and overall demeanor. Academic achievement is also a factor.

What should I wear to the selection interview?
Wear something you feel comfortable in that reflects your personality. There are no specific attire requirements, but you should remember that you are trying to make a good first impression on the selection committee members.

Why should I participate in the tryout process?
Whether or not you are selected as a member of the Royal Court, participants often find the experience rewarding and enjoyable. Participants have the opportunity to meet previous Royal Court members, make new friends, learn about Pasadena’s tradition of the Tournament of Roses and be a part of history in the search for a Royal Court. Participants also receive a ticket for two people to attend the Royal Ball as guests of the Tournament of Roses.

What is the Royal Ball?
The Royal Ball is a semi-formal dance hosted by the Pasadena Tournament of Roses. Only those who participate in the Royal Court selection process are invited to attend.

Will Royal Court activities interfere with school?
During the busy and exciting months leading up to the Rose Parade®, Royal Court members will be required to miss several partial or full school days for wardrobe fittings, photography sessions, media appearances and community events. It is important for Royal Court members to be able to prioritize their time to fulfill both school and Tournament of Roses obligations. Many Royal Court activities will occur after school and/or during the winter vacation period but overall it requires a significant time commitment. It is a worthwhile and memorable experience, but it is also a lot of responsibility.

If I have participated before, should I participate again?
Yes. The selection committee and pool of participants change from year to year, and previous experience can help you feel more at ease during the selection process. Many previous members of the Royal Court participated more than once before being selected.



Rose Queen History



2015Madison Triplett 1963Nancy Davis

2014Ana Acosta 1962Martha Sissell

2013Vanessa Manjarrez 1961Carole Washburn
2012Drew Washington 1960Margarethe Bertelson
2011Evanne Friedmann 1959Pamela Prather

2010Natalie Innocenzi 1958Gertrude Wood

2009Courtney Lee 1957Ann Mossberg
2008Dusty Gibbs 1956Joan Culver

2007Mary McCluggage 1955Marilyn Smuin

2006Camille Clark
 1954Barbara Schmidt
2005Ashley Moreno 1953Leah Feland
2004Megan Chinen
 1952Nancy Thorne
2003Alexandra Wucetich 1951Eleanor Payne
2002Caroline Hsu 1950Marion Brown

2001Michelle Jacobs 1949Virginia Bower
2000Sophia Bush
 1948Virginia Goodhue
1999Christina Farrell 1947Norma Christopher
1998Purdy Tran
 1946Patricia Auman
1997Jennifer Halferty 1945Mary Rutte

1996Keli Hutchins
 1944Naomi Riordan
1995Aliya Haque
 1943Mildred Miller
1994Erica Brynes 1942Dolores Brubach
1993Liana Yamasaki 1941Sally Stanton

1992Tannis Turrentine 1940Margaret Huntley
1991Cara Rullman
 1939Barbara Dougall
1990Yasmine Delawari 1938Cheryl Walker

1989Charmaine Shryock 1937Nancy Bumpus
1988Julie Myers 1936Barbara Nichols
1987Kristin Harris
 1935Muriel Cowan
1986Aimée Richelieu 1934Treva Scott

1985Kristina Smith 1933Dorothy Edwards
1984Ann Marie Colborn 1932Myrta Olmsted
1983Suzanne Gilaspie 1931Mary Lou Waddell
1982Katherine Potthast 1930Holly Halsted
1981Leslie Kawai
 1929No Queen
1980Julie Raatz 1928Harriet Sterling
1979Catherine Gilmour 1927No Queen

1978Maria Caron
 1926Fay Lanphier
1977Diane Ramaker 1925Margaret Scoville
1976Anne Martin 1924No Queen
1975Robin Carr
 1923May McAvoy
1974Miranda Barone 1915-1922No Queens
1973Salli Noren
 1914Mabel Seibert, Dr. F.C.E. Mattison (king)
1972Margolyn Johnson 1913Jean P. French, Harrison Drummond (king)
1971Kathleen Arnett 1912No Queen
1970Pamela Tedesco 1911Ruth Palmer
1969Pamela Anicich 1909-1910No Queens
1968Linda Strother
 1908May Sutton
1967Barbara Hewitt
 1907Joan Woodbury
1966Carole Cota
 1906Elsie Armitage
1965Dawn Baker
 1905Hallie Woods
1964Nancy Kneeland 1890-1904No Queens


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Royal Court Resources

Eligibility Requirements
Royal Court FAQs
Rose Queen History

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