The Krewe de Jeanne d’Arc has named the royalty for its 8th annual Joan of Arc Parade.
Sandra Savoye Dartus, Partnership Liason for Festigals, Inc and original Executive Director of French Quarter Festivals, Inc., will reign as Queen Yolande of Aragon, and Eric Belin, President of the French American Chamber of Commerce, will reign as King Charles VII. Benjamin Franklin Student Council President Margaux Schexnider will be the parade’s Maid of Honor when she takes up the role of Jeanne d’Arc, the Maid of Orleans.
The King, Queen and Maid were all presented to members and volunteers of the parade during a coronation party at The Degas House on Wednesday, December 9.
Schexnider was selected for the Joan of Arc role due to her significant self-motivated work at her school and community, as well as her awareness and interest in global issues. In addition to being fluent in French and Hebrew, her accomplishments including starting a Change for Children group to offer assistance and support to children in local hospitals, being nominated as a delegate for the National Youth Leadership Mission Delegate of Anti-Defamation League, creating a Mental Health Awareness Week at her school, serving as student council Vice President, and serving as a board member for the youth group Jewish Crescent City Youth
The Joan of Arc Parade open Carnival season when it rolls through the French Quarter on Wednesday, January 6–Joan of Arc’s birthday. Schexnider will ride through the parade on horseback while wearing a white robe with a faux armor breastplate. Midway through the event, she will receive her sword following a blessing from the Very Reverend Phillip G. Landry at St. Louis Cathedral.
Belin will wear a robe inspired by a painting of King Charles VII’s coronation at Reims Cathedral, and will be ceremonially crowned by Schexnider. The two will then cut the “first king cake of the season,” though the attendees are encouraged bring their own king cakes to enjoy.
Dartus will don a rode that will feature the flags of Sicily and France, representing Queen Yolande’s rulings, alliances and territories. She and the court will pause at the Historic New Orleans Collections’ Williams Research Center at the beginning of the parade route for for comments by HNOC director Priscilla Lawrence, and a toast from the Consulate General of France in New Orleans, Grégor Trumel.
Founded in 2008, the Krewe de Jeanne d’Arc now features over 250 volunteer and paid members, who wear medieval costumes and portray Joan of Arc’s life, from birth to death to sainthood. Roughly 30 “foot soldiers” are still needed to assist in carrying banners and props, and to act as security during the parade. Those that are interested in registering may do so via the parade’s website.
You can check out Brandt Vicknair’s photos from the 2015 Joan of Arc Parade here.