Published : Tuesday, December 26, 2017 | 1:15 AM
A version of this story originally ran the afternoon following the coronation of Rose Queen Isabella Marez. With the Parade nearly upon us, we thought it the perfect moment to re-acquaint ourselves with the extraordinary young woman who is the Tournament of Roses’ 100th Queen.
[Update] “What I look forward as the Queen of the Royal Court is inspiring other people,” said 18-year-old La Salle High School Senior Queen Isabella Marez. “The other six girls, meeting them, it’s such a magical time in our lives and they truly inspire me to keep moving forward and to keeping to the best of myself.”
Queen Isabella said she knew from an early age she wanted to be involved with the Tournament of Roses in some way . The Altadena native grew up watching the Rose Parade every year as a child and even served as a student ambassador for the Tournament of Roses last year.
“That was my first really big exposure to the Tournament house, to the Court. And that kind of sparked something in me to really actually try out, to join the process, and actually see if I can make a difference in my community,” Queen Isabella said.
Fast forward just one year later and Queen Isabella sits inside the Tournament house having earned the highest station of the Rose Royalty.
“It really truly is a team effort and being a queen, it’s more than just having a beautiful gown and a crown on your head, or the spokesperson of the Court,” said Queen Isabella. “We’ll get our hands dirty, we’ll be involved in our community, we’ll have a voice, and we’ll be a voice for other people that aren’t represented.”
Isabella is particularly interested in partnering with organizations that dedicate time and resources to women’s rights.
“I’ve always been a big believer in social justice and making sure all people are treated with respect, compassion, and love. That’s how I’ve been raised and that’s what I intend to do with this position,” she said.
The pressure of being the face of Pasadena for millions of viewers come the Rose Parade is no pressure at all, according to Queen Isabella, who described herself as being an extrovert from an early age.
“Growing up, I always wanted to be that person that stands out. I never want to be the same, I never wanted to be kind of blend in,” she said. “I realized that there’s no point faking who you are … because people will eventually see everything and in this position as the 100th Rose Queen, I’m really excited to show everyone who I am, and to really share that with everyone.”