Unlike most other old cities in the US, St. Augustine does really have a royal family.
Although they’re now grown in most of these United States, datil peppers come from Minorca and are a central feature of Minorcan culture.
What does it take to be royal in St. Augustine?
Holy Viva Florida 500!
Glad you asked.
Since at least 1959, St. Augustine has enlisted three residents to portray the St. Augustine Royal family – Queen Mariana of Spain, Imperial Princess Margarita Maria and the boy-king Carlos – of 1672.
Besides the Old City’s obvious ties to Spain, St. Augustine owes, among other things, the Castillo de San Marcos to directly to Queen Mariana, who commissioned its construction in 1672.
According to the City’s proclamation in 2007, candidates for the royal court must have been born in St. Augustine, or born to parents who were.
Candidates must be able to trace their ancestry directly to one of St. Augustine’s early periods:
- First Spanish – 1565-1763
- British-Minorcan –1763-1783
- Minorcan –1768-1783
- Second Spanish – 1783-1821
- Territorial – 1821-1845
Reigning for a calendar year, the Royal Family promotes St. Augustine’s rich history and civic pride in her rich cultural heritage at local events like the Easter Festival, re-enactments of Pedro Menendez’ landing at St. Augustine (and so) and at festivals and parades across the United States.
Portrayers of the Royal Family work in service to the City of St. Augustine as official representatives to encourage tourism, good will and most of a good sense of humor.
Meet the Royals
With Minorcans now considered “heritage natives,” the 2013 St. Augustine’s Royal Court is all about Greater Jacksonville history, as all three members can trace their ancestry back to the Minorcans who landed at St. Augustine and with Greeks and Italians helped the English colonize New Smyrna Beach.
- Leslie Goode – Queen Mariana of Spain
- Jade Russell-Carter – Princess Margarita Maria of Spain
- John Patrick Rogero – King Juan Carlos of Spain
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OFFICIAL BIO: K Truitt is a second-generation, native Floridian born in Jacksonville. Truitt worked in public higher education for 25 years and knows newspaper publishing, printing and graphic design. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org