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Trinity grad excited to play role of queen

Natalie Bridges Phillips realized she had been chosen as Pilgrimage Garden Club queen when her mother came home and said, “Well, don’t you look like a queen?”

Phillips has been involved in the Historic Natchez Tableaux since she was young and she always looked up to the queens, but never dreamed she would be one.

“It’s a community thing,” Phillips said. “I’m proud to be a part and show people from all over the storyline of Natchez culture and history.”

Phillips, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Glenn Green of Natchez and Mr. Charles Phillips of Oxford and granddaughter of the late Dr. Kenneth Ott Williams and Mrs. Nadine Williams of Jackson, the late Mr. Charles Phillips and Mrs. Louise Phillips of Clarksdale, and Mr. and Mrs. Paul G. Green of Natchez, is a student at Ole Miss.

She is majoring in hospitality management, but she has a penchant for garment design. Phillips, 21, designed her own big maypole dress in fifth grade and collaborated on the design and creation of her queen’s gown, which she says can double as a wedding dress someday.

The dress is a historically inspired couture gown by Suzanne Perron of New Orleans.   The fitted bodice with basque waist and ball skirt creates an antebellum silhouette. Front bodice folds continue into deep pleats that elongate the front skirt. The Italian silk, satin-faced organza gown is appliquéd with Swarovski crystal encrusted, French Alencon lace.  Ruffled hem edging and a cascading back finish into a regal train.

The queen’s scepter is borrowed from Marty Seibert. Her crown was designed at Dynasty in Mobile.

Phillips has participated in maypole, polka and the wedding tableaux as a bridesmaid and a bride.

A 2008 Trinity Episcopal Day School graduate, Phillips was a cheerleader throughout her high school career, and also participated in soccer and track. She was a Key Club member and was active in the Jefferson Street United Methodist Church youth group.

At Ole Miss where she interns with event coordination, Phillips is also involved with Hope for Africa, Green Campus and Kappa Delta.

“I’m so excited,” Phillips said. “My friends are all coming. They have no idea what it’s all about, but they just have to see it.”

Phillips has been friends with the Pilgrimage Garden Club King, Luc Curry Charboneau, since the third grade.

“We were both bride and groom together,” Phillips said of her 2008 Tableau participation.

Phillips said she is thrilled with the court too, many of whom have been her friends and shared Tableaux experiences for years.

“I am honored and proud to represent the Pilgrimage Garden Club, and so excited to have this opportunity. I’ve heard bits and pieces of the changes made to the Tableaux this year, and I’m excited to see it for the first time. Now that it’s changed, I think more people are coming to see it. So this year, it’s a big deal.

“My mom and I have had such a great time planning for the ball and shopping in Natchez and New Orleans for all of the events that are to come.”

Phillips said she appreciates her parents, not just for working so hard on the details, but for their constant love and support as she grew up.

For fun, Phillips enjoys working out, tennis, hunting, hanging out with friends, living in the Kappa Delta house, coming home to see her nephews and traveling.

One of her favorite travel destinations is New Orleans for the shopping, walking the French Quarter and indulging in a bowl of turtle soup.

“You can be in the worst mood, go to New Orleans, and be happy,” Phillips said. “I love New Orleans so much because it reminds me of my own hometown.”

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