PASADENA, CA-Seven amazing young women lined up on stage at the storied Pasadena Playhouse to find out which one of them would be the fortunate one to be named the Tournament of Roses 101st Rose Queen. Beautiful and amazingly talented, all seven young women who make up the 2019 Royal Court would have made great ambassadors for the prestigious Tournament of Roses.
As it is, only one could be chosen, and so when the announcement came from 2019 Tournament of Roses President Gerald Freeny, Sequoyah High School senior Louise Deser Siskel lifted her left hand and covered her mouth in disbelief that it was her name that was called.
Siskel seemed to be in immediate shock, but with the other six princesses besides her and showering her with congratulations and platitudes, Siskel quickly warmed up to the fact that she is now the official face of the 101st Tournament of Roses.
“It’s really surreal, but I’m honored to have the opportunity to represent the Tournament of Roses in the city of Pasadena,” Siskel said. “Of course, these six other accomplished and brilliant and kind people on the court…I’m so lucky to serve with them. ”
As far as being the front person for the Royal Court, Siskel said she hopes that the Royal Court will use this platform to impact other young people in a positive way.
“I think the Royal Court, as a whole, has the wonderful opportunity to really promote values that have shaped and guided them throughout their lives,” Siskel said. “So for my part, those values are scientific thinking. of education, scientific literacy, and of course, pursuing your passions, regardless of the obstacles that you may face in your life. I hope to show that the students in the city of Pasadena that those are all values that they should care about and that are really important.”
During the hourlong coronation ceremony, which was sponsored by Citizens Business Bank, each member of the Royal Court spoke briefly about what they would do to improve the quality of life around them. KTLA 5 morning news anchor Chris Schauble hosted the event.
Rose Queen Louise Siskel and Royal Court members, which includes Princess Helen Susan Rossi, Princess Micaela Sue McElrath, Princess Sherry Xiaorui Ma, Princess Rucha S. Kadam, Princess Ashley Symone Hackett, and Princess Lauren Michele Baydaline, were chosen to represent the Tournament of Roses based on public speaking, academic achievement, youth leadership, and community and school involvement.
“It is such an honor and such an amazing opportunity to be able to represent such an amazing community and young girls all over Pasadena,” said Princess Rucha, a senior at La Canada High School. “I hope to empower women and let them know it’s okay to follow their passions even if they have that obstacle and let them know it’s okay to step out of yourselves and do what you want.”
Princess Lauren, a senior at Westridge School, says the opportunity to serve on the Royal Court is “amazing.”
“It’s such a sisterhood,” Princess Lauren said. “We’re so strong. We love each other so much. In our free time, we’re either doing homework, we sit around and hug each other, make jokes…it’s such an amazing experience. I’m so fortunate to have all these sisters, especially (Rose Queen) Louise.”
John Muir High School senior Princess Ashley has had the idea of being on the Royal Court since her childhood. Her dreams have come full circle now that she is part of it, she said.
“This has been a dream of mine since I was five years old,” Princess Ashley said. “I’m so grateful to be able to represent my community and get this opportunity. It is truly a blessing.”