Criteria & Additional Policies


  • Be a resident of the Commonwealth of Kentucky or Louisville Metropolitan Area (including Floyd, Clark and Harrison counties of Indiana). A voter registration card or driver’s license must identify you as a resident of those areas, however, an applicant may attend a college or university that is out of state. 
  • Be female identifying 
  • Be unmarried 
  • Be at least 18 years of age on or before December 31, 2023. 
  • Be at least a full-time second year undergraduate student attending a University, College, or accredited professional school for the full current academic year with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Verification is required from the school registrar’s office.
  • Attend and participate in Derby Festival events in Spring 2024, including some scheduled functions and appearances in January, February and March; and up through the Derby Festival beginning with the Official Fillies Derby Ball and continuing through the weekend of the Kentucky Derby.  
  • Submit an online application by 11:59 p.m. EST on Sunday, October 15, 2023. 
  • Be able to participate in a preliminary interview process that will be held in person on November 4 or November 11, 2023.  
  • If selected, must agree to abide by the Royal Court Program’s policies and guidelines; adhere to the program’s expectations and fulfill all responsibilities as a Derby Festival Princess. 
  • Be able to provide and/or cover your own transportation and transportation expenses to and from Louisville for the Derby Festival events, The Fillies events, and other scheduled appearances and functions. 
  • Be available for media opportunities and photo sessions throughout reign as a Derby Festival Princess beginning in January 2024. 
  • Kentucky Derby Festival events, programs and promotions adhere to local, state and federal COVID-19 safety guidelines to ensure the safety of participants, attendees, volunteers, partners and organizers.



  • Selection as a 2024 Derby Festival Princess prohibits eligibility in any future Derby Festival Royal Court selections. 
  • Excessive absenteeism and/or habitual tardiness from official events can result in your dismissal as a Kentucky Derby Festival Princess.
  • Derby Festival Princesses are expected to always act in a professional manner. Inappropriate behavior at Kentucky Derby Festival (heretofore referred to as “KDF”) or related events, appearances or scheduled functions can result in dismissal. Immediate dismissal will occur after any of the following instances but is not limited to: conviction of a felony or misdemeanor, illegal use of alcohol and/or drugs, public indecency, public nuisance, and/or any behavior deemed by KDF and/or The Fillies, Inc., as detrimental to the interest of KDF and/or The Fillies, Inc., its representatives, sponsors, or licensees. In cases of dismissal, the Princess shall forfeit all rights, titles, or claims to any title designations, scholarships, prizes or awards. 
  • Derby Festival Princesses are not allowed to smoke, vape and/or drink alcoholic beverages at KDF events, appearances, or scheduled functions. Any Princess smoking and/or drinking at aforementioned events and/or while wearing Princess attire and representing KDF and/or The Fillies, Inc., will be immediately dismissed. 
  • The Princesses acknowledge it is in the interest and benefit of the KDF and The Fillies, Inc., to make appearances (virtual and/or in-person) on behalf of the KDF and The Fillies, Inc., including but not limited to radio, television, other broadcast media, charitable service appearances, endorsements, or advertising appearances, without compensation.
  • Princesses agree to make the KDF and The Fillies events, appearances, and scheduled functions a top priority throughout the months of January through the May and must seek prior approval for any absences from The Fillies and/or KDF.  Due to the time commitment each spring, once selected as a Princess, candidates are asked not to participate in other beauty and/or talent competitions (other than those that are school related and approved by the The Fillies, Inc. and/or KDF) until the Monday after Derby Day.
  • Because of the commitment to maintaining an environment that supports our goals of community outreach, scholarship and leadership, Kentucky Derby Festival prohibits KDF guests/staff/partners and KDF Princesses from engaging in personal relationships during their Royal Court term. “Personal relationships” include, but are not limited to, dating, romantic relationships or occurrences, sexual and/or otherwise intimate relationships, and also any relationship that would interfere with consistently professional, fair, and even-handed treatment of all Royal Court members.
  • Princess candidates who have an immediate family member (and/or association with anyone) currently employed by the Kentucky Derby Festival, currently serving on the Kentucky Derby Festival Board of Directors, or currently a member of The Fillies, Inc., are not subject to preferential treatment in the 2024 Kentucky Derby Festival Royal Court Program selection process. 
  • Concerning all platforms of social media: inappropriate content posted on the internet, as determined by the Kentucky Derby Festival and The Fillies, Inc., may lead to dismissal and/or other appropriate action by KDF and The Fillies, Inc. This applies to sites and/or web pages with “private” settings. 
  • Princesses will not participate in any outreach, media appearance, social media endeavor, or event as a Derby Festival Princess without the express consent from the Kentucky Derby Festival and/or The Fillies, Inc. Additionally, all outreach endeavors must be approved by the Kentucky Derby Festival and/or The Fillies, Inc.  The Kentucky Derby Festival and The Fillies, Inc., will work with the Princesses to develop messaging, talking points and presentations. 
  • One Princess will be selected to serve as “Queen” of the Royal Court. She will be selected by a random “spin of the wheel” at the annual Fillies Derby Ball in April.  The Derby Festival Queen will continue to serve alongside the other four Derby Festival Princesses throughout their reign during the Kentucky Derby Festival.
  • Princesses receive an event and appearance wardrobe, procured by The Fillies, Inc. and Derby Festival, and provided by generous sponsors and supporters. Princesses will receive notification of which required outfit is to be worn at specific events. Princesses will not wear the outfits prior to the assigned events and are required to keep the wardrobe presentable and clean.
  • Dismissal of a Princess requires the relinquishing of all gifts you have received as a 2024 Kentucky Derby Festival Princess. 
  • The Kentucky Derby Festival and The Fillies, Inc. will act as the final decision maker on all issues of conduct outlined in this agreement.
  • The decisions of the independent panel of judges for the selection of the 2024 Royal Court Program are final.