Rather than the princess herself, a photo of Alexandria Tyler Cole will be placed on her seat on the Queen’s Float in Saturday’s Grand Floral Parade during the Daffodil Festival.
Cole, a senior attending Chief Leschi Schools and citizen of the Quinalt Nation, walked on the morning of Wednesday, April 11.
“Alexandria was selected as the Chief Leschi Princess representative to the Daffodil Festival in October of 2011. She always greeted people with a contagious smile and her warm personality,” read a statement by event organizers on the festival’s facebook page. “Although the Royalty will still wave and smile to the crowd, they will still be hurting whenever they see her empty seat.”
The Daffodil Festival, in its 79th year will go on as planned with a theme of “Don’t Stop Believing.” The parade will travel through the Washington state cities of Tacoma, Puyallup, Sumner and Orting.
According to a story by The News Tribune, Cole lived with her mother, Christina Cole, in Tacoma and was close to her grandparents, Barbara and Joe Hipp.
She inherited her love of boxing from her grandfather, a South Sound heavyweight, and also played volleyball.
As a princess, Cole helped others. She and members of the royal court spend time doing community service. According to The News Tribune, they volunteered for Emergency Food Network and Word Vision, where they read stories to kids at libraries.
After graduating in June, Cole had planned on attending Washington State University, where she wanted to continue helping people by becoming a registered nurse.
The Daffodil Festival’s facebook page has also paid tribute to its lost princess with a timeline banner declaring: “Once a Princess, always, a Princess.”