Madison Elaine Triplett reacted as many young Rose Queens have before her: a gasp, hand raised to mouth under wide eyes as her fellow princesses jubilantly congratulated her.
The 17-year-old from John Marshall Fundamental High School secured the crown at a Tuesday evening ceremony in Pasadena after navigating a monthslong interview process that included a field of 700 candidates.
After having made it into the Tournament of Roses Royal Court on Oct. 6, Madison, a varsity volleyball player who plans to study economics at Tulane University and one day start a nonprofit to educate minorities on financial literacy, ultimately came out on top and will help kick off the 126th Rose Parade on New Year’s Day.
She will be flanked by the six remaining princesses: Mackenzie Joy Byers, 18, Pasadena City College; Gabrielle Ann Current, 18, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy; Veronica Sara Mejia, 19, Pasadena City College; Bergen Louise Onufer, 17, Mayfield Senior School; Simona K. Shao, 17, Westridge School; and Emily Alicia Olivas Stoker, 17, Temple City High School.
Together with their queen, the princesses will act as ambassadors for the 2015 Tournament of Roses and attend as many as 100 community and media functions in the run-up to the parade.
Louis Zamperini, the Olympic athlete turned World War II hero, was chosen as grand marshal earlier this year but died in July at age 97. At the Tournament of Roses house Monday, officials said Zamperini’s family will attend in his place.
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