At the foot of the Rose Garden is the Queen’s Walk. It was established in 1952 to honor all past, present and future Queens of Portland’s Rose Festival.
The Portland Rose Festival, Oregon’s premier civic celebration, has been a Northwest tradition since 1907. Carrie Lee Chamberlain, the governor’s daughter, reigned as Queen Flora over the Festival’s inaugural year. From 1908 to 1913 a king, Rex Oregonus, ruled over the festival. The identity of this king was kept secret until revealed at the festival’s annual ball. In 1914, Thelma Hollingsworth was the first elected Queen of Rosaria. Various methods and criteria were used to select the Queens through 1930.
Beginning in 1931, the Queen has been a Portland high school senior. Each of 14 local high schools selects one ambassador (previously called princesses) who together comprises the Rose Festival Court. One court member is chosen to be the Portland Rose Festival Queen. The Queen reigns over all Rose Festival events and represents the City of Roses in her ambassadorial travels to communities near and far.
One of their greatest and longest lasting honors is when the plaque bearing her name and signature is installed in the Queen’s Walk. The reigning Queen gets a special place of honor, with her plaque being placed in the center of semi-circle of bricks which overlooks the City of Portland from the Rose Garden. Each year, at the end of her reign, the out-going Queen’s plaque is moved to the walkway to join the other monarchs who have gone before her, to make room in the overlook for the new Queen of Rosaria.