METAIRIE — Lydia Netterville’s big day as Mardi Gras royalty is something she has been preparing for practically since the day she was born.
“I am pretty sure my parents had my name down to one day reign as queen of Argus right after I was born,” said Lydia, a junior at Louise S. McGehee School in New Orleans. “I have been looking forward to this day my whole life.”
Lydia’s special time has come as she prepares to reign over Carnival in Metairie on Fat Tuesday. Before she boards her royal float, some things are already second nature to the 17-year-old River Ridge resident.
Lydia, the daughter of Judge Susan Chehardy and James Netterville, has been a page, a lady-in-waiting, a junior maid and a maid in Argus.
“Being queen is certainly different compared to the other roles I have had in Argus,” Lydia said. “But having been a page, a lady-in-waiting, a junior maid and a maid, I sort of know my responsibilities and what to expect. But I have to say I am a little nervous about reigning as queen. There is so much to do, but I am sure it will work out. And believe me, everything has been a blast.”
A member of the Diversity Club and the National Art Honor Society at McGehee, Lydia said she enjoys reading and writing. And since she was very young, she has loved art, specifically watercolor, illustrations and digital painting.
“Ever since I was a little kid, I loved to be able to make something come to life on paper,” said Lydia, who is also an accomplished equestrian rider. “As time goes on, the more art work I do, the more I am learning. And the more I am learning, the more I really love the world of art.”
Thoughts of Lydia’s family won’t be far away on her special day. Opal, amethyst, sapphire and turquoise birthstones representing the birthdays of Lydia’s parents, her sister, Diana, and her own birthday are set in the back of her crown.
There are also small gold horseshoes, representing Lydia’s love for horses.
“The birthstones and the horseshoes in my crown were really important to me,” Lydia said. “It represents a lot about who I am.”
As Fat Tuesday approaches, Lydia said she is “getting more and more excited.” And she is also looking forward to the Argus ball at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner on Friday, a brunch on Sunday and the Lundi Gras celebration on Monday morning in Kenner’s Rivertown when Lydia and the king of Argus, Raymond Brandt, will greet the king and queen of Zulu, Cedric Givens and Monica Givens.
“I have always felt that Carnival is about two things — family and friends,” Lydia said. “No matter what the event is or the parade is you are going to, it is the people who you are with who make everything so much fun.
“I am really looking forward to everything, especially the Argus parade. I hope everyone has a great time. Being queen has been an amazing experience. I am so grateful to my parents and the rest of my family for doing all of this for me. Being the queen is something I will remember the rest of my life.”