The Royal Court
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.
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.
- Complete an official application and participate in one of the initial interview sessions.
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
- Alverno High School
- Arcadia High School
- Arroyo High School
- Arroyo Pacific Academy
- Blair High School
- California Institute of Technology
- Excelsior School
- Flintridge Preparatory School
- Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy
- John Marshall Fundamental High School
- John Muir High School
- La Canada High School
- La Salle High School
- Maranatha High School
- Mayfield Senior School
- Pasadena City College
- Pasadena High School
- The Peace and Justice Academy
- Polytechnic School
- Rio Hondo Preparatory School
- Rosemead High School
- San Marino High School
- South Pasadena High School
- Southwestern Academy
- Temple City High School
- The Waverly School
- Westridge School
Royal Court Frequently Asked Questions
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.
Tournament of Roses Rose Queen History
|2015||Madison Triplett||1963||Nancy Davis|
|2014||Ana Acosta||1962||Martha Sissell|
|2013||Vanessa Manjarrez||1961||Carole Washburn|
|2012||Drew Washington||1960||Margarethe Bertelson|
|2011||Evanne Friedmann||1959||Pamela Prather|
|2010||Natalie Innocenzi||1958||Gertrude Wood|
|2009||Courtney Lee||1957||Ann Mossberg|
|2008||Dusty Gibbs||1956||Joan Culver|
|2007||Mary McCluggage||1955||Marilyn Smuin|
|2006||Camille Clark||1954||Barbara Schmidt|
|2005||Ashley Moreno||1953||Leah Feland|
|2004||Megan Chinen||1952||Nancy Thorne|
|2003||Alexandra Wucetich||1951||Eleanor Payne|
|2002||Caroline Hsu||1950||Marion Brown|
|2001||Michelle Jacobs||1949||Virginia Bower|
|2000||Sophia Bush||1948||Virginia Goodhue|
|1999||Christina Farrell||1947||Norma Christopher|
|1998||Purdy Tran||1946||Patricia Auman|
|1997||Jennifer Halferty||1945||Mary Rutte|
|1996||Keli Hutchins||1944||Naomi Riordan|
|1995||Aliya Haque||1943||Mildred Miller|
|1994||Erica Brynes||1942||Dolores Brubach|
|1993||Liana Yamasaki||1941||Sally Stanton|
|1992||Tannis Turrentine||1940||Margaret Huntley|
|1991||Cara Rullman||1939||Barbara Dougall|
|1990||Yasmine Delawari||1938||Cheryl Walker|
|1989||Charmaine Shryock||1937||Nancy Bumpus|
|1988||Julie Myers||1936||Barbara Nichols|
|1987||Kristin Harris||1935||Muriel Cowan|
|1986||Aimée Richelieu||1934||Treva Scott|
|1985||Kristina Smith||1933||Dorothy Edwards|
|1984||Ann Marie Colborn||1932||Myrta Olmsted|
|1983||Suzanne Gilaspie||1931||Mary Lou Waddell|
|1982||Katherine Potthast||1930||Holly Halsted|
|1981||Leslie Kawai||1929||No Queen|
|1980||Julie Raatz||1928||Harriet Sterling|
|1979||Catherine Gilmour||1927||No Queen|
|1978||Maria Caron||1926||Fay Lanphier|
|1977||Diane Ramaker||1925||Margaret Scoville|
|1976||Anne Martin||1924||No Queen|
|1975||Robin Carr||1923||May McAvoy|
|1974||Miranda Barone||1915-1922||No Queens|
|1973||Salli Noren||1914||Mabel Seibert, Dr. F.C.E. Mattison (king)|
|1972||Margolyn Johnson||1913||Jean P. French, Harrison Drummond (king)|
|1971||Kathleen Arnett||1912||No Queen|
|1970||Pamela Tedesco||1911||Ruth Palmer|
|1969||Pamela Anicich||1909-1910||No Queens|
|1968||Linda Strother||1908||May Sutton|
|1967||Barbara Hewitt||1907||Joan Woodbury|
|1966||Carole Cota||1906||Elsie Armitage|
|1965||Dawn Baker||1905||Hallie Woods|
|1964||Nancy Kneeland||1890-1904||No Queens|