Q&A: Junior Bailey Armstrong crowned Lincoln’s 2022 Rose Princess


Courtesy of Bailey Armstrong

Junior Bailey Armstrong walks arm in arm with Lord High Chamberlain John Jackson. Armstrong was named this year’s Lincoln Rose Princess. She will now represent Lincoln at the Rose Festival and in the greater competition for Rose Queen.

On Mar. 7, junior Bailey Armstrong was elected by the student body as Lincoln’s 2022 Rose Princess. She will now represent Lincoln at the Rose Festival and in the greater competition for Rose Queen. Learn more about Armstrong, including why she chose to run for Rose Princess and what she will be up to over the summer, below. This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.


Why did you decide to run for Rose Princess?

I never really thought of running for being a rose princess. I always looked up to them but it was never in the front of my mind until all the eligible individuals at Lincoln were sent an email in January about with the application and I decided to apply. The further I got into the application process the more I learned about the role beyond what I already knew and the more I wanted to participate in the program. 

What does being Lincoln’s Rose Princess mean to you?

Being Lincoln’s rose princess and a rose princess in general is mainly being an ambassador for yourself, your family, your neighborhood, your school and your city. For me, it is an opportunity to be civically involved, give back to my city and if I am successful make someone else’s day brightened. 

Speaking of activities, what extracurriculars did you do during your years at Lincoln?

I participate in a good variety of activities. Since my freshman year, I have been on the debate team, which I am now and a captain of. I have qualified for nationals three times and for State in three different events. As a captain, I am the main instructor for my event, teaching and supporting underclassman. Also, through speech and debate I am the head coach of West Sylvan’s debate team (Lincoln’s feeder program). I was on Constitution Team my sophomore year. I am in the advanced leadership class and am junior class vice president.

What kind of things did you have to do this year to become a Rose Princess, in terms of application and interviews?

First there is an application, it asks you basic contact information and a few questions (you can see all of our responses to those questions in our bios on the rose festival website). It also asks you for a reference and for your school to approve of your application. If you make it through the application (which most do) they hold a meeting that gives us more information on being a princess and its responsibilities. They give us a couple prompts including one we have to write a three-minute speech on. A few weeks later we do a community interview where we go before a group of judges (over Zoom) and we answer the prompts answer a few other questions and then recite our speech (our topic this year was: what does rose city reunion mean to you?). The day after the interview they announce the finalist, for Lincoln we had two, the maximum was four. We had to record our speeches again and send them to Vice Principal Chris Brida, and he sent them out to the school where the student body voted. A week or so later we had an announcement ceremony at Lincoln where they announced the final winner. Half of the decision was up to the judges and half was up to the Lincoln student body. 

What does the future look like for you in terms of Rose Princess? I know previous Rose Princesses had to travel during the summer, but is that different with COVID-19 precautions?

I have participated in a few events and some trainings over the last couple of weeks. On May 6 I no longer attend school (except for my IB tests) and I become a rose princess full time. For the first few weeks we will some light events more trainings and virtual visits. Beginning mid-May our official travel season will begin and we will be visiting and participating in events full time especially as that is the busiest part of the rose festival. On June 10th they will crown a queen of the rose festival (one of us will be crowned) and on June 11 we have the grand floral parade which ends our season. This is the first year back since Covid so it is looking a little different. For now most if not all of our Covid precautions are lifted. For the festival some areas such as the parades are smaller than they have been, but others will be bigger than ever before such as the opening night fireworks. One other impact of COVID is for the first time ever there will be four different rose courts riding in the parade. There will be our court, the 2020 court, the 2021 court and the court from 50 years ago. 

What is your future outside of Rose Princess? 

I am only a junior so I have a year left to figure out what I am doing. As of now I really want to go to school in Ireland or Europe in general. I hope to study government or international law.