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Natchez native excited to reign over Tableaux

BEN HILLYER/THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Queen Lara Biglane is representing the PIlgrimage Garden Club in the Historic Natchez Tableaux during the second half of Pilgrimage
BEN HILLYER/THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Queen Lara Biglane is representing the PIlgrimage Garden Club in the Historic Natchez Tableaux during the second half of Pilgrimage.

NATCHEZ — Lara Biglane wasn’t even in the country when she was chosen as the Pilgrimage Garden Club Queen.

The 20-year-old marketing and public relations major at Louisiana State University was in Capetown, South Africa, as part of the study abroad program, Global Lead.

Her mother, Tanya, sent her a message on Facebook telling her she had been chosen as the queen. Tanya wanted to preempt the possibility someone else would say something online about the selection first.

“When I read the message, I started freaking out, and I called home,” Biglane said. “I didn’t think about the time difference, and it was 5 a.m. here, but when I got (mom) I said, “How could you tell me I was the queen and not tell me who the king is?”

The king was Josh Callaway III, who Biglane said is a lifelong friend and fellow student at LSU.

“We couldn’t be happier to be king and queen together,” she said.

Being chosen as queen is something Biglane has long privately envisioned, she said.

“When I was little, I loved tableaux — pageant — because all my friends did it, and it makes it more fun that way,” Biglane said.

“I think every girl who spends their childhood associated with the PGC and the Pilgrimage seasons has it in the back of their minds that someday they could reign as PGC queen.”

Her past participation in tableaux includes Little Maypole, Big Maypole, dancing as a Polka favor girl, the Picnic, the Can-Can, Virginia Reel, serving as junior bridesmaid in the Wedding and dancing for six years in Soireé, the last two years of which she danced as lead or was the Sweetheart of Soireé.

Biglane said she attributes her selection as queen to the years of work her mother and grandmother did for PGC as much as to her own participation.

When she’s not reigning as queen, Biglane likes to spend time with her family and friends and traveling.

After she finishes school, Biglane said she wants to work in marketing for a child advocacy center, raising money for child abuse awareness campaigns and shelters.

“I had considered working in child advocacy before, and during the Global Lead trip we had a service program going through some of the poorer townships in South Africa, and I connected with a lot of children there,” she said.

“After spending time with them and knowing their stories and families, I knew it is what I want to do.”

When she began her reign, Lara wore a crown custom designed and created by Dynasty Collection in Mobile, Ala. Every stone in the crown and her scepter are swarovski clear crystals imported from Austria.

Some of the larger iridescent stones on the crown and scepter are of the Aurora Boreale strain of Swarovski stones and are cut to maximize light reflection. The plating of the crown has an 18-karat-gold finish. The center back of her crown features the queen’s monogram, the year of her reign and tiny mementos representing important facets of her life.

The scepter fully compliments the crown, and a French rope design extends from a crystal puffed finial at the base to a fleur-de-lis ornamentation at the top.

Her dress is a custom-designed period ball gown of podesua overlaid with heavily beaded embroidered netting and a satin chevrier neckline. The beading includes pearls, crystals and iridescent stones.

The dress has a 5-yard-long teardrop train with a satin band around its borders.

Biglane is the daughter of Denton Biglane and Tanya Biglane.

She is the granddaughter of James and Nancy Biglane of Natchez and of Randy and William Swindle of Zachary, La.