Honorary Characters

Krewe de Jeanne d'Arc 2024 Court: Louis Michot portraying King Charles VII; Marley Marsalis portraying Joan of Arc; and Hannah Kreiger-Benson portraying Queen Yolande

For 2024, Louis Michot portrays King Charles VII, Marley Marsalis portrays Joan of Arc, and Hannah Kreiger-Benson portrays Queen Yolande. Photos by Gary H. Jones and Amanda Helm.

The Krewe de Jeanne d’Arc selects three community leaders each year to portray three featured characters in our parade: a young Maid Joan, a King Charles VII, and a Queen Yolande.

2024 Krewe de Jeanne d’Arc Royalty:

Maid of Honor (Joan of Arc):  Marley Marsalis, Cabrini High School 

Queen Yolande of Aragon:  Hannah Kreiger-Benson, Music and Culture Coalition of New Orleans

King Charles VII: Louis Michot, Louisiana French Musician


The young Maid of Orleans will be portrayed by MARLEY MARSALIS, 18 year old daughter of Kaya and Jason Marsalis and the granddaughter of both the late Delores and Ellis Marsalis, the late Patricia Horne-Love and David Belfield. Marley is currently a Senior at Cabrini High School and an active member of many clubs. After graduating from Cabrini in the spring of 2024, Marley will be attending Tulane University in the fall of 2024 to major in Music Performance and French with a Minor in Business. She was chosen as the young woman who most represented Joan of Arc. In addition to her role in the procession on January 6, she will be traveling to Orleans, France later in 2024 to represent the krewe, thanks to a travel scholarship provided by the New Orleans Rotary Foundation. In her acceptance speech, given in French and English, Ms. Marsalis spoke eloquently of the inequalities women experience. “Regardless of their sexuality, their race, their body size, their annual salary or simply the right to express their emotions, all women deserve to be treated with the same equity which their male counterparts receive on a daily basis. In honor of Joan of Arc, a woman who fought strongly for what she believed in, regardless of what people thought of her,  I will do the same thing. I will continue to speak for what I believe is right, and stand against any injustices that I may be in witness of.” View her full bio and acceptance speech.

Look for our young “Maid of Orleans”, Jeanne d’Arc, on a tall white horse in the parade. Midway through the parade, she will receive her sword after a blessing at St. Louis Cathedral. The sword she receives was a gift to the Krewe de Jeanne d’Arc from the city of Orléans, France, whose 500-year parade tradition was a model for our selection of a young Joan.  Finalists receive an interview in French and English by the Cultural Attaché/ Chargée de Mission Culturelle of the Consulate General of France in New Orleans. The annual contest is open to all young women in the Greater New Orleans area ages 16-19 who have demonstrated outstanding community leadership and have French language experience and skills. 

Past Maids of Honor include: Emmeline Meyer (2023), Ava Wilkes (2022), Zoe Kanga (2020), Alyssa Fortier (2019), Martha Pinney (2018), Héloïse Trumel (2017), Margaux Schexnider (2016), Emma Martello (2015), Clara Bajeux (2014), Gretchen Neuenhaus (2013), Aggie Bell (2012), and Blair Davis (2010).


2024 Krewe de Jeanne d'Arc queen Hannah Kreiger-Benson

Queen Yolande, the mother-in-law of King Charles and supporter of Joan, will be portrayed by HANNAH KREIGER-BENSON. 

Hannah Kreiger-Benson works at the intersection of music, advocacy and cultural economy. As a working musician, a researcher and advocate, and a music-director, she works to improve the New Orleans cultural economy and music landscape, and to amplify equity, accessibility and financial literacy. In her acceptance speech, Hannah Kreiger-Benson spoke of Queen Yolande’s expertise in forming alliances and encouraged us all to network to create better working environments for the creatives who form the backbone of our cultural landscape. View her full bio and acceptance speech.

Queen Yolande will be riding in a royal “horse-drawn” pedicab, dressed in a cloak composed of the coat of arms and heraldic colors of the historical Queen Yolande. Past queens are  Beth Arroyo Utterback (2023), Ti Martin (2022), Margarita Bergen (2020), Liz Williams (2019), Kristin Gisleson Palmer (2018), Camille Whitworth (2017), Sandra Dartus (2016), Simone Bruni (2015), Mary Beth Romig (2014), Betsie Gambel (2013). 


2024 Krewe de Jeanne d'Arc king Louis Michot, Louisiana French musician

King Charles VII will be portrayed by Louis Michot. 

Louis Michot is best known as the fiddle player and lead-singer for the Grammy award winning Lost Bayou Ramblers, but his passion for Louisiana French, local folklore, and sustainability are what fuels his career as a musician.  Michot, whose family’s ancestors lived in one of the towns Joan attempted to liberate, charmed the crowd with these words in French and English, “With my voice as King, my hope is to communicate to my fellow Louisianians the importance of taking care of our beautiful, yet rarely considered environment, our fragile coast which is disappearing faster than anywhere on earth, and continuing our Louisiana French dialects by passing them to future generations. (I) allow myself to take inspiration from Joan herself, in stating for my responsibilities as King:  “I am not afraid…I was born to do this.” – Joan of Arc”

(read his full bio and speech here).

In the parade as King Charles VII, Louis Michot will also be in a royal “horse-drawn” pedicab, and he will wear a robe inspired by one of many paintings of the King’s coronation at Reims Cathedral, at which Joan of Arc was present.  At the parade’s end, the king will be ceremoniously crowned by the young Joan Maid of Honor. The two will then cut the first king cake of the season, representing Joan of Arc’s birthday cake as well as Carnival season tradition. The public is welcome and encouraged to bring their own king cake to share and enjoy. Past kings include: Joseph Dunn (2023), Joseph Mistrot (2022), Simon Hardeveld (2020), Alexandre Vialou (2019), Pierre-Loic Denichou (2018), Jean-Luc Albin (2017), Eric Belin (2016), Patrick van Hoorebeek (2015), Jacques Soulas (2014), René Bajeux (2013), Damien Regnard (2012), Lilian Cadet (2011) and David Villarubia (2010).