How sweet it is to be queen

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At 9:30 a.m. Tuesday Natalie Innocenzi was named the 92nd Rose Queen. She and her Royal Court will act as official representatives of the 121st Tournament of Roses Parade and 96th Rose Bowl Game.

I’ve covered the selection of the Tournament of Roses Royal Court and Rose Queen for the La Cañada Valley Sun for five years. And the paper itself has covered Court and Queen for decades. The naming of the Rose Queen is particularly fun for me to photograph and write about because it allows for one girl to be in the spotlight for a day.

Once you’re selected as Rose Queen, you’re one for life. Sometimes the reactions to this great honor are priceless, as you can see from the following photos.

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1930 | Holly Halsted
Holly Halsted is saluted as the Tournament of Roses Queen in 1930.

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2003 | Megan Chinen
The Rose Princesses react as Megan Chinen, second from left, is named 2004 Rose Queen. The others are, from left, Christina Mills, Laura Stassel and Stephanie Barnes. (Scott Roby/News-Press)

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2004 | Ashley Moreno
Ashley Moreno, center, gets hugged by Rose Princesses Lisa Pallay, left, Jennifer Propper, Alaire Hanashian, Kara Murphy, Allison Pedro and Megan Sheehan after Ashley was named 2004’s year’s Rose Queen. I got to work with Ashley further in the months that followed her selection while  photographing La Canada High School’s production of “Bat Boy” for the Valley Sun. I have a great picture of her in the green room wearing an black, curly wig. (Scott Roby/News-Press)

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2005 | Camille Clark
Camille Clark (third from left) was announced Rose Queen for the 2006 Rose Parade. She receives hugs from court princesses Eliza Walper of Polytechnic, Alyssa Jones of Pasadena City College and Michelle Corral of Flintridge Prep. (Tammy Abbott/News-Press)

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2006 | Mary McCluggage
Of all the Rose Queen I’ve photographed, this was probably my favorite. This was a split second reaction from Rose Queen Mary McCluggage, reacting as she hears her name being called by Tournament of Roses President Paul L. Holman announcing her as the Rose Queen for the 2007 Tournament of Roses Parade. (Michael J. Arvizu/Valley Sun)

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2007 | Dusty Gibbs
Dusty Gibbs, center, reacts to being named the 2008 Tournament of Roses Rose Queen. This year probably marked the first time we ran a photo of the newly-announced Rose Queen without actually seeing her face, but I really enjoyed seeing her reaction, plus the reaction of Rose Princess Kelsey MacDougall reaching over to embrace her. (Michael J. Arvizu/Valley Sun)

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2008 | Courtney Lee
Arcadia High School student Courtney Lee reacts after being named Rose Queen of the 120th Tournament of Roses Parade. I like how she seems to look around as if making sure she heard correctly. Or perhaps she’s just gasping? (Michael J. Arvizu/Valley Sun)

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2009 | Natalie Innocenzi
Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy’s Natalie Innocenzi, 16, center, reacts as she is named the 92nd Rose Queen during announcement by the Pasadena Tournament of Roses at the Tournament House in Pasadena on Tuesday, October 20, 2009. Flanking the Rose Queen are at left, Rose Princess Michelle Van Wyk, 17 from La Cañada High School, and Rose Princess June Ko, 17 from Arcadia High School, at right. (Raul Roa/Valley Sun)

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Written by Michael J. Arvizu

October 20, 2009 at 5:13 pm

Posted in Events

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