A 17-year-old high school senior from San Marino who plans to study history in college was chosen Tuesday as queen of the 106th Tournament of Roses parade.
Waiting nervously as a drum roll sounded in the background, Aliya Haque trembled when her name was announced in ceremonies at tournament headquarters in Pasadena. The six other finalists, wearing royal blue dresses and black pumps, besieged her with hugs and kisses as her family shrieked from the sidelines.
Aliya, who attends the private Polytechnic School in Pasadena, accepted a bouquet of red roses. Flanked by her princesses, she posed for a horde of television cameras and photographers.
After competing against 700 young women for the title, she said she was "still very bewildered" to be chosen. "All of the other girls are just as qualified to be queen."
The new queen's parents beamed amid the throngs of well-wishers. "We are very proud and very surprised," said Aliya's mother, Linda Haque. "She did it all on her own and I know she will make a good representative of the community."
Aliya's mother and father, Irshad-ul, work in real estate.
Aliya was selected by the Queen and Court Committee after a monthlong process in which the candidates were rated on public speaking ability, poise, academic achievement, community involvement and personality.
She and her princesses will ride in the Jan. 2 parade with an anticipated television audience of 450 million people in more than 90 countries.