Queen of Hearts
The Queen of Hearts Dance for 2023 will be on Saturday, February 11th
The Queen of Hearts events and traditions are deeply imbedded in Broughton's culture and history. Present day events surrounding the Queen of Hearts celebration include the traditional Queen of Hearts dance, a school-wide assembly to present the court, Senior skits pertaining to the theme for the dance, student performances to entertain the court, and a luncheon for the Queen's court on the day of the dance. In addition, the Broughton community and guests are invited to come to an assembly on the day of the dance to see the court presented and student talent. Each grade level votes on students to represent their grade on the Queen of Hearts Court. These representatives will then invite another student to be their escort. In addition, students vote on the Queen of the court. Students in all grades may attend the dance and typically wear formal attire, including long gowns and tuxedos.
Queen of Hearts is a tradition that dates back to the early days of Broughton. In the 1930s, prior to the Queen of Hearts, the Broughton PTA sponsored a November Carnival to raise money. A Queen of the Carnival was selected and crowned during an assembly in the Auditorium. The biggest event of the year was a formal Junior-Senior Dance held in the spring.
During the war years of the early 1940s, , the Broughton PTA still sponsored a November carnival and a queen was selected, and was now referred to as the Queen of Hearts. Selection of the queen was determined by a journalism class project to raise money for the war effort. Students paid 10 cents a vote and the senior girl with the most votes was crowned Queen of Hearts during an assembly held in the Auditorium before the carnival. In addition to the Queen, a court, represented only by seniors was also selected.
In the 1950s, the selection of a Queen of Hearts was moved to February and scheduled with a Valentine’s Dance. The Queen was elected by the senior class and the court was elected by the entire school. The court consisted of one 8th grader, two 9th graders, two 10th graders, two 11th graders, and three 12th graders. Eventually the court was elected by classes. The crowning of the queen and presentation of the Court was still held during an assembly in the Auditorium.
After Holliday Gym opened, the presentation and Court assembly moved from the auditorium to the gym and was held during the school day on Friday.
The Queen and her Court were entertained by numerous student performers during this assembly. A second presentation was held just before the dance on Saturday night.
Traditionally, the Queen wore her white debutante gown with a train that was held off of the floor by two mascots. A third mascot carried a pillow holding her crown. The mascots were young children selected by a vote of the senior class. A Maid of Honor was elected and asked to wear a red velvet gown.
The Queen was expected to entertain the female members of the Court at a luncheon held at her home on Saturday before the dance. The Queen was also expected to give a small gift to each member of the Court. Members of the Court wore long white gloves and carried fresh flowers.