Application Process


The Royal Court selection process is a self-nominating procedure. More than 100 applications for the program are received each year from young women representing different colleges and universities from around Kentucky and the region.

The Derby Festival and The Fillies, Inc. begin accepting applications for the Royal Court in the fall prior to the upcoming Festival season.


Selection to be a Princess is a multi-step process that lasts several weeks:

Step 1:  When applications open, interested and qualified young women submit their application and information online at Court.

Step 2:  All qualified applicants move on to a preliminary screening and interview process with representatives from the community, The Fillies, Inc, and the Kentucky Derby Festival. The preliminary screening leads to the selection of the top 25-30 Finalists.

Step 3:  The Finalists then participate in a second round of interviews in early January with a judging panel of representatives from outside Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

Step 4:  Five Princesses (along with two alternates) are selected from the Finalists and crowned as members of the Royal Court in early January and continue their reign through May.



The online portion can be found under “Apply Now” on the side bar menu, and includes an application that must be completed, along with initialing a section to confirm that you understand the rules and regulations. All sections must be completed in order for you to be registered as an applicant for the Royal Court®.

All candidates, in addition to completing this online application, must submit the following materials:

1.  A readable copy of your voter registration card or driver’s license (to establish residency).

2.  An Official Transcript from your school’s registrar office.


These materials must be postmarked or scanned & e-mailed by 11:59 p.m. EST on October 15, 2023, and sent to:

Jocelyn Dave

9211 Woodhurst Court
Louisville, KY 40222


Questions? Call Jocelyn at 502-807-7369