Emmeline Meyer Acceptance Speech

Emmeline Meyer, photo by Margarita Bergen

I want to start off by saying how excited and honored I am to have this opportunity. I have wanted to apply to the maid of honor contest for several years now. This past January, I was lucky enough to walk in the former queen’s entourage with my family, where I got to experience first-hand how amazing this krewe and community are. It was a wonderful night, and I was able to meet last year’s maid of honor, Ava. Talking with Ava and watching her experiences further solidified my resolve to apply this year.

I was very excited to apply, knowing that my second league is French and that, if I were selected, I would be the first girl from my school to represent Joan. I am a senior at Lycée Français de la Nouvelle-Orléans; if you’ve heard of Lycée, then I’m impressed! If you haven’t, I am part of the first graduating class of Lyéee Français, the first public French immersion high school in Louisiana. Being enrolled in Lycee Français has brought with it several amazing opportunities–like getting to serve as student council
president for four years, and getting to meet very inspiring people, including the First Lady of France, Brigitte Macron. 

I also want to talk about Joan and why I am so excited and honored to represent her. She means a lot to our city. Almost 600 years after her death, Joan remains revered. She believed in France and was willing to defend her beliefs. When captured, Joan denounced her beliefs that she was led by Divine guidance; however, her convictions compelled her to recant, knowing the result was execution. Her resilience is an example of New Orleans. Our city remains unbowed, in spite of threats to our future; we have found our “joie de vivre”–we embrace life, even in the face of death.

Joan is an inspiration because of her willingness to defy the social expectations that were set for her and to persevere. She inspires courage and determination in so many people.

Again, I would like to say how excited and honored I am to have this opportunity. It means a lot to me, and I am excited to represent Joan—and to represent her with strength and grace.

I would like to thank my parents for providing this amazing immersive learning experience to me. I would also like to thank the “A team” of Amy, Amanda, and Antoinette, for choosing me to live this amazing experience.

In closing, I would like to acknowledge Queen Yolande and King Charles, as well as send a huge toast to you all for a wonderful evening and what I know will be a wonderful parade. Thank you.