NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)- "It's a lot harder than it looks," says this year's Queen of Carnival. And she's not talking about waving the royal scepter.
Of all the accomplishments listed on her resume-- the semester abroad in Italy, the volunteer work for St. Jude Hospital, the Garden Club and varsity soccer-- one entry stands out.
Her majesty was once a waitress at Mahony's Po'Boy Shop. It's a refreshingly normal summer job, for the beautiful young woman who will wear the crown.
Anna Eugenie Huger (it's a French name, pronounced "you-gee"), is a graduate of Isidore Newman School and currently in her junior year at the College of Charleston. Her major is Arts Management with a minor in Communications and Art History, and her goal is to one day own a gallery of contemporary art.
The waitressing job? Well, her father owns the shop, and Anna says it was a good way to "get pushed out into the real world," especially since her family is part of a very exclusive group. More than a dozen relatives have been members of Rex royalty, going all the way back to 1886.
Most of all, Anna says her late grandmother, Eugenie Jones Huger, Queen of Carnival in 1952, is the inspiration for her reign. Anna keeps a picture of her in her bedroom, and says her grandmother would be pleased to know that Anna will follow in the royal footsteps. Even as a child, Anna loved Carnival, begging for beads from her father's shoulders but never daring to presume that she might one day be Carnival royalty herself.
This year, there surely will be a young child on a parent's shoulders who looks up in delight and envy to see Anna, now a Queen, in the royal reviewing stands at the Intercontinental Hotel where this year's Rex, Dr. Stephen Hales, will toast her with champagne before his float rolls past.
Anna Eugenie Huger -- a contemporary woman-- happy to take part in a glorious tradition.