It’s pretty easy to spot a Daffodil Princess, especially when the Royal Court is out and about in full force: those bright yellow ball gowns, glittering tiaras, dainty white gloves, and effortless smiles are always on display, making them pretty easy to see!
Little did you know that those picture-perfect Princesses actually contend with more than a few unique obstacles behind the scenes... and that those ballgowns and tiaras provide their own set of challenges, too. We tracked down a few notable Daffodil Royalty Alumnae, to describe the Princess Problems they faced during their own reigns, and got the scoop on everything from rogue bobby pins and tiara headaches, to lost sequins, hoopskirts, and more!
Queen Kenna Erhardt, from Rogers High School, Daffodil Class of 2013, reminisced on an ornery zipper that nearly locked her into her own dress! “My zipper broke, and got stuck. My dress wouldn’t come off,” she says. “I had a moment of panic
that I was going to be stuffed in 10 layers of tulle forever!” Luckily, an alterations establishment frequented by the Royal Court was able to get the dress unstuck in no time.
Still, it gave Kenna something to reflect on, even years later. “Wardrobe malfunctions were inevitable for 24 girls in ball gowns, but we always made it work. Moments like this always gave us some-
thing to laugh about, and those are the memories I will never forget.”
Did you know that the style of the Daffodil Royalty dresses change every year? As it so happens, Queen Kenna’s year didn’t have to contend with just one rough zipper causing clothing issues... as Princess Kayla Prewitt, from Curtis High School, would call it, 2013 was also “The Year of the Hoopskirt.”
“We all wore layers of underwire underneath our bright yellow dresses to add some volume,” she described. “There were many mishaps... like the fact that they’d flip up if you sat on them at the wrong angle, or that little kids would try to crawl under your dress! However, I think my infamous hoopskirt incident takes the cake.”
After strapping into her stand on the traveling Daffodil float, while on her first out-of-town outing, Kayla suddenly found herself wrestling with a less-than-full dress. “I heard a snap and felt
a big rush of air on my calves. The string around my waist had broken, and my hoop skirt had completely collapsed!”
Unfortunately, the parade was due to start in less than two minutes, but an industrious nearby chaperone knew just what to do: secure the waist of her hoopskirt with some of the heavyduty bungee cord from the Daffodil float trailer!
“By the time our float started moving, the skirt was the last thing on my mind,” Kayla says. “It’s impossible to think about ‘princess problems’ when you’re waving to the hundreds of smiling faces looking up at you! What I remember most about that day has less to do with the volume of my tulle, and more
to do with experiencing firsthand how much just the Daffodil Festival brings to cities all over the Pacific Northwest.”
The traveling float wasn’t the only Daffodil vehicle to get tripped up in ballgown drama, either. 2012 Princess Carly Lange, from Sumner High School, recalls how difficult her dress made it to even get to any event in the first place!
“Attempting to fit all that dress in the back of a car, three times over, created a poufy explosion of yellow and white tullenestled princesses,” she described. “Our chaperones were amazing at making sure that we all fit in the car without any ‘spillage’ occurring, but sometimes, in the hurried hustle between appearances, we would attempt to load ourselves in... resulting in several layers getting closed in the car door, and sections of our dress flapping in the wind as we drove down the freeway!”
However, these minor traveling mishaps only made Carly all the more aware of how difficult the jobs of their fearless chaperones are. “It made us extremely grateful for our chaperones – and their dress-management abilities – as well as reminded us of the amazing support system we had, to encourage us and help us through our princess problems!
Two years later, the skirts were still creating issues for busy Princesses. Princess Nina Thach, a Mt. Tahoma Princess from the Daffodil Class of 2014, dealt with her own battered ball gown: “As beautiful as it was, it was such a tripping magnet for children, crowded pedestrians, and even myself!”
Of course, after all that wear, there couldn’t help but be more than a few tears... a lot more than a few! “Almost every night
after an event, my dress would be dragging along the floor in certain areas, and the bunches and ruffles on it would have come undone... I would spend nights with my mom trying to sew them back together! There was even one time we went to a library, and had a dress fall apart, so an amazing chaperone got into to sew it up before the event actually began.”
However, that didn’t ding
how Nina thought they all
looked... and especially not
how it made her feel to wear it. “It didn’t make me feel any less beautiful or wonderful. I was able to be the leader and community servant I needed to be, regardless of the dress... Those late nights sewing and scrubbing mud and dirt from the bottom of my dress were worth it, because the more I cleaned it, the more hard work I got to put into being a Princess.”
Still, it wasn’t just the ballgowns that got worn out, but some of the accessories they were frequently paired with. The tiaras get their fair share of attention – for both the long durations of time Princesses have to rock the glittering, heavy headware, but the amount of pinching bobby pins it takes to secure them – but Festival fans frequently overlook other elements of Royalty fashion. For instance from 2013 Princess Bobbi McGinnis, of Franklin Pierce High School the gloves.
“We had a very cold and rainy parade, so to stay warm, I put hand warmers in my gloves!” Bobbi says. “This was great for warmth, but somehow, when mixed with the rain, my white gloves turned a dirty grayish-black.”
However, that didn’t stop Bobbi from flaunting those gloves by waving all up and down the parade routes. “Despite the cold and the rain, the day was still amazing, and full of smiles and laughter,” she said. “Hopefully not too many people noticed the Princess with the dirty gloves!”
And despite popular belief, underneath those voluminous yellow skirts, Princesses still rely on a sturdy pair of character shoes to help them get around, not wildly impractical glass slippers (which would, presumably, only result in more mishaps!). For Queen Marissa Modestowicz, from Emerald Ridge High School in 2014, these well-tread heels ended up getting more than a little worn out, too.
“We got them all brand-new in the Fall to break them in,” she said. “With how much time we spend on our feet, the soles on the bottom began to wear out. By the end of my year, the bottoms were completely black!”
For her, this was simply a sign of a job very well done. “Whether it’s walking around an auction, running around on a playground with kids, or dancing on our parade float, a Princess’ feet never get tired! Those character heels are definitely proof of the long hours we spend on our feet.”
Still, even beyond frayed hems, lost sequins, heavy crowns, and well-worn accessories, sometimes Princess Problems can make even more of an impact on a Royal Court. One of the greatest sacrifices a Daffodil Princess makes during her reign, is that of her time, which, being that all Royalty are in their senior years of high school, might mean missing out on some pretty special memories for the sake of being a Princess.
2012 Princess Jordan Zuniga, from Rogers High School, found that out firsthand, as she had to choose between her Court, and the choir she had been a part of throughout high school.
“Choir was one of my favorite memories of being in school,” she said, “and each year, concert choir takes a tour in or out of the county... I had to choose between a Yacht Club dinner an event that was talked about with such high respect or the last trip of my high school year with my choir.”
Jordan weighed her dilemma, by taking a step back, and remembering what her commitment to Daffodil had meant to her in the first place. “I wanted to be the best example I could be for Rogers, and that meant sacrificing something of such
importance to me. “It is a memory I still remember to this day, waving goodbye to my choir, as they were getting on the buses, headed out to their big adventure, while I was slipping on my yellow dress and getting ready for
While Jordan missed the opportunity for adventure with her
concert choir friends, don’t worry: in true Princess fashion, she found the happy ending!“ The night ended with uncontrollable laughter with my yellow sisters. Sacrifice can be hard, but oh, was it worth it! Because it was through sacrifice, that another beautiful memory was made.”
You heard it here first: the life of a Daffodil Princess isn’t easy, no matter how effortless they make it look. These unique and sometimes silly princess problems just remind us that anything can happen when we’re interacting with the community, but true Royalty always stays calm and collected under pressure.
And besides: being a part of the Daffodil Royal Court is worth all that struggle, anyways!