A Crowning Trifecta
As Queen Hyacinth LXVIII Shirley Crowley reigns over the Krewe of Hyacinthians this year, she enters extremely rare territory as a third-time queen—each time being for a separate local carnival krewe.
The Dularge native’s journey to carry the crown three times started when she was named Queen Cleopatra in 1988 and rolled as queen the following year.
In the early 2000s, she later returned to the Krewe of Aphrodite—the club she rode with for four years before joining the then newly founded Krewe of Cleopatra. She rode with both krewes for the years that followed and became queen once again in 2005—this time for Aphrodite.
Originally, Shirley had no intention of becoming queen again, but she rejoined Aphrodite and put her name in the drawing for queen because her grandson, Wade Landry, wanted to become a page in her royal court.
“…At the time he was nine years old, and he wanted to be a page because all of our family are involved in Mardi Gras. He said, ‘Nana, I want to be a page but only if you’re queen,’” Crowley remembered. “So I said, ‘Okay, I’m going to rejoin Aphrodite.’”
After having to sit out of the drawing for two years and not receiving it the first year she entered, she was finally picked to be queen—the last year Wade was eligible to be a page.
Later, Crowley would join Hyacinthians because she once again had people close to her who wanted to be a part of her royal court.
“The reason I joined the Hyacinthians is because I had a group of girls who wanted to be maids, but they only wanted to be maids if I was queen. So I joined that club little over seven years ago,” Crowley said. “I had to be in it for a year, and then after that they said, ‘Are you ready?’ I don’t know how to explain this, but there was just something I didn’t feel. I said, ‘No, I don’t feel it yet. I’m not ready.’”
Last year, when Crowley received the call again—asking if she would consider being queen of Hyacinthians—she said she needed some time to reflect on it and would let the club know when she returned from vacation.
“…So when I got back, I came and talked to my son [Craig Landry], and he said, ‘You know, I’m not going to be your king. You know you want your grandson to be your king anyway,’” Crowley said. “He said that because he [Wade Landry] and I are very close.”
When the “Hyacinthians Salutes Broadway Musicals” parade rolls out on Feb., 24, Crowley, who still rides for Aphrodite and is a member of the Past Queens Club of Cleopatra, will ride as queen once again—alongside her king/grandson Wade Landry, son/duke Craig Landry and several other family members and close friends on her royal court.
“I have enjoyed all three clubs I have been a part of,” said Crowley. “Someone asked me the other day why I was doing it. I think the reason why is as a little girl, standing on the street, I’d see the beautiful ladies in their beautiful costumes. You know, children think and dream; I was there thinking that would be just so great—not knowing that one day I would get to experience it three times.” •