Girls on Being Rose Royalty

Who wouldn't want to be the center of attention among crowds of people? How about walk around with your own chaperon and spend most of your time in a mansion? Free makeup? How about free pearls?

What sounds like royal treatment and a dream come true for some teenage girls is what two La Cañada Flintridge Preparatory High School girls have been living since taking their positions as royal court princesses for the 2006 Tournament of Roses Association.

"It's every little girl's dream to become a princess, and I know growing up I came to many parades and watched it religiously," said Rachel Geragos, one of two 17-year-old Flintridge Prep seniors chosen as Rose Court princesses. "The idea of being on the float this year in the 2006 Rose Parade is incredible."

Geragos and Michelle Corral will be in the 2006 Rose Parade, held in Pasadena on New Year's Day. They described their selection to the royal court as a dream come true.

"Personally for me I've always wanted to see the princess float, to see what the girls look like. You look up to them [former court members]. You never really picture yourself in that position," Corral said.

"I, same as Princess Michelle, never thought it to be possible," Geragos said.

The girls couldn't help but smile in enthusiasm when they described the moment they were chosen.

"Hearing my name announced, I can't even describe the shock that I felt. It was truly unbelievable," Corral said. "I mean, each time I got a letter back I thought, 'No, no, wrong address. They made a mistake.'"

"I remember my name being called, and I didn't know what to do. I wasn't paying attention on how to walk out. I was the first one called. I didn't know what to do, who to follow. It was an absolutely incredible experience," Geragos said.

The girls also happen to be longtime friends.

"We've been best friends throughout high school. No one could believe that two girls from the same school could get it, let alone best friends," Corral said.

As newly appointed princesses, the two best friends have had a drastic change in schedules. They now have to balance out their school work with their duties as members of the royal court.

"You really just have to be organized and find time to do everything, because you don't want to fail any of your other commitments," Geragos said. "Although, you have to juggle all of your time and sometimes you don't get much sleep."

The girls admitted that though the pros substantial overweigh the cons at the Wrigley Mansion, there is a sense of professionalism to be upheld.

"I think that there is definitely a business aspect to this. We are serving as ambassadors to Pasadena. So, we are attending various functions, such as lunch-ins, where there are very important people in the Pasadena area, and we are representatives," Corral said.

Since the girls were chosen out of high school they also feel that they serve as ambassadors to their school.

"I really love Flintridge Prep, and to be representing Flintridge Prep and Pasadena at the same time is a great experience. Because there are two things I am passionate about, so to represent two elements of your life that you love is an honor," Geragos said.

Being a princess also has some perks which includes free gifts.

"We went to Medieval Times, and I had never been their before. They announced us," Corral said. "Getting the Mikimoto pearls, getting the camera from Kodak, the clothes from Macy's -- we get all this supplementary stuff and you ask, 'What did I do to deserve this?'"

Despite having a celebrity status in the Pasadena area, the two princesses still have tests and classes to keep up with while attending high school.

They described managing their school and royal careers as a continuous task. They have to keep up with their teachers' schedules while paying attention to the events they are going to attend next, the two said.

What touched the two Rose princesses on a personal level was the support from their families.

"I have a big Armenian family, so there is always a ton of support from everyone. So, I was the first one to try out.I remember everyone pushing me, pushing me, and every time we were waiting for the next letter it was, 'Rachel, we love you no matter what,'" Geragos said.

"There are four girls in my family, and I'm the youngest of them and all of my sisters have tried out for this but none of them got it. My mom was like, 'Do your best, please. Just try,'" Corral said. "Now that I got it I think they are pretty proud of me."

Passing through the center of Pasadena, massive bleachers being set up on both sides of the streets for the upcoming parade are an eyesore. But, the bleachers remind Corral and Geragos about the parade and fuel their enthusiasm.

"I'm so excited. I think I'm ready. I'm sure I'm going to be nervous. There is going to be nothing like that feeling," Corral said.

"It's weird to think that you are going to be the girl that little girls are going to watch at home, and that little girls are going to look up to," Geragos said.

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