Who’s the Rose Queen for 2015?

By the time y’all read this article we should all know who was selected to be the Queen of the 2015 Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade & Rose Bowl (PTOR).  I will give you my guess for Queen later, which I usually Fail.  Who who’s your guess?

But 1st we need a Royal Court to pick from. Here are a few, just a few believe me, of my shots from the media event to announce the new Royal Court earlier this month.  The best shots (relatively speaking!) I save for the Royal Court and their parents.


The set-up or calm before the storm




These announcements are really media events as much as for the girls. In this picture I see Kim Chinen the wife of the current President of the PTOR, Megan Henderson waiting to go live on KTLA-5 (another journalist I’ve met in Pasadena), and Walt Mancini the famous photographer from the Pasadena Star-News.





PTOR 1st Ladies!  Mrs. Chinen (2015) with Mrs. Jenkins (2014). I’ve met & photographed the wonderful 2014 1st Lady before, but never the 2015. I asked Mrs. Jenkins to introduce me & pose together.





The 1st Girl!  Winking smile   2014 Princess Sarah is the 1st beauty (inside & out!) to come down the red carpet. Princess Sarah is now I’m happy to say – Trojan Sarah! – at USC.  Representing the outgoing Royal Court, Sarah along with Princess Kayla & Princess Elyssia  following her will officially welcome & transfer power to the girls named to the new Royal Court. I was viewing all thus from my perch with a “white suiter” (member of the PTOR)  friend & the mother of Princess Elyssia.




The 1st Finalist.  From this years crop of about 800, 31 finalists were picked and are introduced by the Chairperson of the Queen & Royal Court committee, Mark Leavens. From this group, the 7 members of the new Royal Court will be named.  My “white-suiter” friend, Bak, escorts the 1st of the finalists. Members of the Queen & Royal Court committee do the escorting.





“Can you believe this!”  As each girl is named to the court, each displays a sort of, “Gee wiz, can you believe WE of all girls have made it this far!!”, as new Princesses Madison & Bergen seem to display below. Well, seeing is believing, so believe it gals!

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Cutting to the chase.  After calling out the names that made the 2015 Royal Court, PTOR President Richard Chinen takes an admiring 1st look at his Tournament of Roses 2015 Royal Court.  While outer beauty is one criteria, it’s much more the inner beauty of  poise, speaking ability, leadership, academic achievement, and community & school activities which determines the finalists and the Royal Court. (Below: L-R, they’re Princesses Alicia, Veronica, Mackenzie, Gabrielle, Simona, Madison, & Bergen.)  It looks like this year will be more difficult than last for me to guess who will be Queen! 

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With the new 2015 Royal Court selected, the 2014 Princesses may now be thinking, “so now we don’t need to always be ready to strike a pose for photographers, we can relax, right? Yes!, Yes!!”

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Hold on. Not so fast!!  I never forget my past Queens & Princesses…2014 Rose Princess Elyssia & Mom. I took one of Eyssia with her Dad last year so I’m glad I got her Mom.  Elyssia was at San Marino High when on court .   I was watching it all with her Mom who, if I recall correctly, said her daughter is now a communications major at Pepperdine University. Eyssia has a very pretty smile and eyes and I’m glad she got to experience this past year.  I always feel a bit guilty to ask these girls to “sit” for another  photo knowing the countless times they’ve had to be ready to strike a pose for photographers these past months – including myself!  Yet, every time I wanted a photo they’ve  immediately & patiently agreed, and smiled, as I took yet another shot. The 2014 girls may be my favorite Royal Court.




One of my favorite “white-suit” friends, a great guy who loves to eat, and member of the Queen & Royal Court committee – almost always with his camera. Hey, Bak!  Where you aiming?? The girls are behind you!  Open-mouthed smile 




2015 Princess Gabrielle Ann Current.  If there was a Miss Photogenic, she’d probably get it.  (Yes, she does have a pair of good looking parents)  When she saw me with camera, she came toward me, we chatted a second, and then she struck some camera ready poses. I can see easily why she made the Royal Court.  My photo skills-non don’t capture her natural beauty.

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One thing I said to Princess Gabrielle, “You should take a photo with your “groupies” (Flintridge Sacred Heart school mates!).  Before long, that’s where she was headed.




With the “Mother Superior” of Flintridge Sacred Heart, her Princess,  another finalist who didn’t make the court this year, and her Senior class.  While all schools come out to support their Royal Court candidates, FSH usually comes in divine force to support theirs!.




The media was also out in force, of course. Here is Jose Hernandez, videographer for NBC-LA.  He has a twin and I hope I didn’t mix their names up here!  Sad smile  Jose was doing double duty this day: videotaping as usual, and, interviewing.  Last I checked, Jose and his twin brother also do a weekly radio show on the side. When I first meet journalists it’s almost always in Pasadena.




Getting on the PTOR Royal Court to riding down Colorado Blvd and then in the center of 100,000 Rose Bowl fans is a relatively quick but long road. These young ladies go from obscurity to world notice.  Then, when the 2016 Royal Court is named, back to “normal”…with a few more friends who will last a lifetime.






This is where I came in. Think I’ll cut it off here since I need to cut out to the 2015 coronation – before all the food is gone!  Maybe I’ll come back to do any needed editing. 




Oh, my prediction for Rose Queen?  Unlike last year, and since I’m very bad at picking the Queen, I’m simply going with my male intuition.  No analysis. While at this years Royal Court announcement, the 1st girl I thought for Queen was Princess Madison.  But then as I learned more about each of the Princesses it became clear this decision was going to be more challenging to predict than last year!  Therefore, lemme say the Queen will either be Princess Gabrielle or Princess Veronica.  What do ya think? Who’s your choice for Queen??



Gotta Run!! Stay Thirsty My Friends

Red rose


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