23. Virginia Van Antwerp

This gallery features royal robes of siblings who have served as monarchs – Thomas Bragg Van Antwerp (2001) and Virginia Oliver Van Antwerp (2003). They have a long family involvement with royalty in Mobile’s Mardi Gras with eleven members having served as monarchs. Their great-great-grandfather was king in 1916 and went on to become president of the Mobile Carnival Association for over fifty years. Their grandparents, Emily Hearin Staples and Sidney Phillip Van Antwerp, served as king and queen in 1934.

Queen Virginia paid homage to her family heritage by displaying a replica of crowns of past family monarchs on her robe, along with their initials. The beautiful side edge of the train and the jeweled base of the train all came from her grandmother’s train when she was queen in 1934. Her grandmother’s train was removed from the state archives in Montgomery to embellish Virginia’s robes. Despite the aging condition, the two sides’ long panels were salvaged and used on the new train. This train has a unique feature--ball bearings on the underside to help Queen Virginia glide more smoothly across the coronation floor.