November 05, 2015 

By Dr. Valerie Wardlaw 

Contributing Writer 

The 2016 Pasadena Tournament of Roses Royal Court has a special connection to the Los Angeles Sentinel this year.  Rose Princess Bryce Marie Bakewell is the daughter of the Executive Editor of the Sentinel, Danny Bakewell, Jr., and Tana Bakewell and the granddaughter of Chairman and CEO/Execu­tive Publisher of the Sentinel, Danny Bakewell, Sr., and Mrs. Aline Bakewell.


Rose Princess Bryce, 17, resides in Pasadena and is a senior at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy.  She is the president of the Black Student Union and hopes to become a criminal justice attorney.  A volunteer with a local daycare that cares for disabled children, Princess Bryce plans to attend college and major in U.S. History with a minor in Spanish.  Princess Bryce enjoys yoga, volunteer work, and traveling.  She has three siblings, Taelor, Danny III, and Devyn.


“We are extremely proud of Bryce.  She is so excited because all the girls are friends and that makes it so nice for them,” said Bryce’s mother, Mrs. Tana Bakewell.  Bryce’s father, Danny Bakewell, Jr., said, “As a father, what gives me the greatest joy is to see my children happy, and Bryce is so happy so naturally I am filled with joy and tremendous pride.”


When asked to describe her experience thus far as a princess on the Royal Court, Princess Bryce said, “I’m having the best time of my life.  It is a lot of work but a labor of love.  Being able to go into the community with my sisters and bring joy to the others, is amazing.”  “I’m excited that I get to share this experience with Princess Regina, (Regina Marché Pullens), one of my closest friends.  “For both of us to make it onto the court is really special.  We never imagined that the two of us would be doing this together.  Right before they announced the princesses, Regina said, ‘if you make it, I make it,’ and we did.” 


 Princess Regina, 17, is a senior at Maranatha High School and resides in Altadena.  She is the daughter of Reginald and Renita Pullens. “To be a princess on the Rose Court means I get to honor my community and give back and I get to be a role model for young girls.  It’s really such an honorable experience,” Princess Regina said.  She has three siblings:  Teneka, Reece, and Reid.  Both princesses laughed when asked about perfecting the queenly wave saying, “it was hard at first but we have down and we’ll be ready.” 


Sentinel Chairman and CEO/Executive Publisher Danny Bakewell Sr. acknowledged the specialness of this experience for his granddaughter, his family, and the African American community at large.  “This is Bryce’s moment.  Bryce has a great sense of self.  She is very confident, young Black woman.  It makes our heart smile to see how well she represents our family, our people, and young women,” Bakewell Sr., said.  “I have a long history in Pasadena and with the Tournament of Roses.  As a social justice activist, it was always my desire that people be given opportunities at all levels.  It’s great to see the diversity that is represented on this Rose Court, it’s really gratifying.  A number of people have said to me that they are inspired by the changes that the Tournament has made through the years.  The Tournament of Roses does a great job and I hope they continue to move the organization forward.”  “Bryce is a very loving granddaughter as all my granddaughters are.  It’s a wonderful opportunity for Bryce.  There’s so much she will learn and take away from this experience for the rest of her life so I’m really happy for her.”  “Pasadena is community that we are committed too, so it’s really a tremendous honor,” Bryce’s grandmother, Mrs. Aline Bakewell said.


Chosen from over 900 young ladies and 39 finalists, princesses for the Royal Court were selected based on academic achievement, community service, and public speaking ability.  The Royal Court will act as ambassadors for the Tournament of Roses and the Pasadena community at large making up to 100 community and media appearances.  The appearances of Queen Erika and her Royal Court will culminate with the 127th Rose Parade presented by Honda and the 102nd Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual on January 1, 2016. 


Erika Karen Winter, a 17-year old senior at Flintridge Preparatory School will represent the Tourna­ment of Roses as its 98th Rose Queen.  Completing the 2016 Royal Court are:  Rose Princesses Natalie Breanne Hernandez-Barber, Alverno High School; Rachelle Chacal Renee Liu, San Marino High School; Donaly Elizabeth Marquez, Blair High School; and Sarah Sumiko Shaklan, La Canada High School.


For more information on the 127th Rose Parade presented by Honda and the 102nd Rose Bowl game presented by Northwestern Mutual, visit  For biographies of the 2016 Royal Court, visit

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