For more than 70 years the De Soto Heritage Festival has celebrated the beauty and talent of ten special young women from the community by naming them to the esteemed De Soto Queen's Court.

These young ladies are a special and select group. Candidates are recommended by the community and then the Hernando De Soto Historical Society makes its choices on the basis of character, appearance, scholastic ability, high morals, and personality.

The De Soto Queen's Court serves as good will ambassadors for the Hernando De Soto Historical Society and Manatee County. Two of the 10 young women will be chosen to serve as De Soto Queen and Princess for one year. All ten receive scholarship assistance from the Conquistador Historical Foundation.

Our Story

In 2008, the Hernando DeSoto Historical Society began organizing a reunion of Past Queens and Princesses as part of the 2009 70th Anniversary Celebration. Veenie Goodson and Sherri Buete were asked to organize events and locate the past Queens and Princesses. This was no easy task, as there wasn’t even list of Past Princesses in existence at that time. Together the duo located more than fifty attendees, many of whom traveled from out of state just for the opportunity to see old friends  and pay their respects to an organization that changed them forever.

That weekend was a revelation. We didn’t feel like strangers-- instead we felt strangely connected. We were all awestruck by the accomplishments of the women in that room, and bound together as kindred spirits who had shared something extraordinary. Past Queen after Past Princess made a promise to keep in touch with the group.

April 24th, 2009
A Reunion of Past Queens and Princesses

In 2009, the organization celebrated its 70th Anniversary with a reunion of their former Queens and Princesses. 

An Idea is Born

Coming together for the first time in history, these community leaders realized the potential of organizing their efforts to do charitable works in Manatee County.

Established 2010

We set up a website, held our first meetings, and organized by-laws. We chose purple. We held a Tea. We ordered shirts. Ordering shirts was REALLY exciting :-) The SOTC felt “real” with shirts!


Our first President, 1972 Queen Veenie (Bomar) Goodson was elected. As we continued to look for the missing past Queens and Princesses we stumbled on alumni of the Queen’s Court. It was quickly evident that these ladies were equally as accomplished, and that the powerful connection we felt at the reunion was, in fact, a result of our shared experiences as members of the Queen’s Court. We invited them to join us, and suddenly our mission statement came to life.


Our second President, 1990 Queen Stacie (Womack) Velliquette was elected. Under Stacie's leadership the SOTC began participating in charity walks, held it's first Masquerade Ball and purchased La Bella Reina, our official float.


Our third President, 1990 Queen Sherri Buete was elected. Under Sherri's direction we organized committees, a newsletter, and a Leadership Team. Our active membership more than doubled, we held our first Bienvenidos Brunch, and we supported HDHS and our local community with more than 1500 service hours.


Our fourth President, 1981 Princess AnnaLuisa Huffman was elected. 


Today the Sisterhood of the Crown is forty members strong, and regularly gives back to our home community of Manatee County through efforts of scholarship, support, and philanthropy. 

SOTC Social

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