The moment Tournament of Roses President Lance Tibbet announced “from La Salle High School,” Isabella Marez knew she had just been named the 100th Rose Queen and tells us, “My heart just stopped! Literally every emotion you could possibly feel happened in that moment. If it hadn’t been for Princess Alex and Princess Lauren next to me, I would have fallen down. I can’t wait to see how we all work together.”
For the past two weeks, the seven princesses have spent every waking moment together preparing for tonight and in that time they have formed a special bond. “I would have been just as happy for any one of them” says Marez, “we honestly see how much we are alike but how different we are and we get along great. Whoever would have been lucky enough to have been Queen, we would support them 100%.”
When asked what it means to be a part of such a beloved tradition Queen Isabella said, “I’m so honored to be the 100th Rose Queen and to be a part of all of these beautiful and inspiring women. It’s your court that really makes you a good queen and I can’t wait to be a part of that.” She and the court hope to bring more awareness to womens’ rights, explains Queen Isabella, “especially young women who are discriminated against for who they are and who they want to be. Everyone on this court, that’s our main idea; to be a voice for those who don’t have one.”
Marez was a student ambassador for the Tournament of Roses and as she became more involved she decided to try out for the court and push herself out of her comfort zone, as she explains, “it was mostly the theme of this year, Making a Difference, I want to make a difference in my community and I want to share that with the rest of the world and Pasadena and truly change things.”
The announcement and coronation ceremony took place on the stage of Pasadena Playhouse, also celebrating their 100th year. Radio personality, Ellen K., was the mistress of ceremonies and at one point, 21 former Rose Queens were on stage together including our 1940 Rose Queen, Margaret Huntley Main.
2018 Rose Queen Isabella and the Royal Court will attend numerous community and media functions, acting as ambassadors of the Tournament of Roses and the Pasadena community at large. The grand finale will be their appearance on the Royal Court float in the 129th Rose Parade® presented by Honda and attending the College Football Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game® presented by Northwestern Mutual, both on Monday, January 1, 2018.
The Rose Queen and Royal Court were selected based upon a combination of qualities, including public speaking ability, poise, academic achievement, youth leadership, community and school involvement.
During the coronation ceremony, Tibbet presented Rose Queen Isabella with a Mikimoto crown featuring more than 600 cultured pearls and six carats of diamonds. Prior to the public event, all members of the Royal Court received a pearl necklace from Mikimoto.
Queen Isabella is a senior at La Salle High School and lives in Altadena. She is a leadership service commissioner at LSHS and a Youth Ministry leader. Isabella is a member of Support Our Troops Club, Key Club, Unbreakable Club, Hispanic National Honors Society and National Arts Society. She also serves as a Junior Ambassador for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She participates in varsity softball, varsity golf and a travel/club softball team. Isabella enjoys painting, singing, golfing and hiking. She plans on studying social justice and human anatomy and would like to attend Seattle University, Manhattan College, Regis University, Villanova University, Drexel University, Notre Dame University, University of Pennsylvania or Sarah Lawrence College. Isabella is the daughter of Jesse Marez and Christine Marez; she has four siblings, Alexandra, Jennifer, Justin and William.
Be on the lookout for Queen Isabella and her court as they make their way around local cities attending events in the coming weeks. We look forward to seeing our city’s self-built float in the Rose Parade as well as Queen Isabella and her court and wish them all the best as they set out on this incredible adventure.
The Tournament of Roses is a volunteer organization that hosts America’s New Year Celebration® with the Rose Parade® presented by Honda, the Rose Bowl Game® presented by Northwestern Mutual and a variety of accompanying events. 935 volunteer members of the association will drive the success of 129th Rose Parade themed “Making A Difference,” on Monday, January 1, 2018, followed by the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the 104th Rose Bowl Game. For more information, visit www.tournamentofroses.com