History of The Order of The Alamo and The Coronation of The Queen of FietaTHE ORDER OF THE ALAMO was founded in 1909 by prominent San Antonio men who wished to enlarge Fiesta’s annual celebration of the heroic struggle for Texas’ Independence from Mexico. Named for the Shrine of Texas liberty, THE ORDER’s purpose is to honor and celebrate Texas’ heroic struggle by electing a Queen to reign over San Antonio’s Fiesta celebrations each year, and to provide for her Coronation with pomp and ceremony.
The first Coronation of The Queen was held in 1909 at the old Beethoven Hall; it was warmly received by San Antonio’s citizenry. In 1914, the venue for the Coronation of the queen was changed to the “old” Majestic Theatre. It was there that The Queen was crowned on stage by the President of The Order for the first time. Amazingly, after more than a century, this Coronation “ritual” has persevered and remained largely unchanged. Every year as part of her crowning ceremony, The Queen takes “The Obligation of Fealty”:
President: In the presence of these ladies and gentlemen, do you solemnly promise that during your reign over this fair city, you will govern your people according to the laws of happiness and joy? That you will bring mirth, melody, and sweet music to this your Kingdom? That you will always preserve happiness and banish sorrow? And that, throughout your realm, you will make each passing day brighter because of your reign?
Queen: I so Promise.
President: Then may happiness in your reign be all-supreme! And may the recollection of each day’s joy be second only to the anticipation of the sweetness of the next…
The year 1926 marked the first Coronation held in the “new” Municipal Auditorium, and at last, the thousands of San Antonians and visitors who wished to attend The Queen’s Coronation could be accommodated. Except for the war years when there were no Coronations, and the years 1979-1984 when the Auditorium was under renovation, the Auditorium has been the scene of each Coronation.
However, in 2012, the Municipal Auditorium began a long renovation project to become what is today the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. With a nod to its long and rich history, the Coronation returned “home” to the historic Majestic Theater, and is still held there to this day.
Election of The Queen is accomplished by secret ballot of the membership of The Order each year. By tradition, candidates have been chosen from among the duchesses of previous Coronations. Following the annual Coronation ceremony, the newly crowned Queen and Princess “reign” over the rest of Fiesta week’s variation celebrations, visiting their San Antonio subjects at local elementary schools, nursing homes, hospitals, and San Antonio’s many military bases; anywhere their presence brings joy and the spirit of Fiesta. On Friday, the Queen, Princess, and the entire Court ride giant floats in the famous Battle of Flowers Parade, and showcase their magnificent robes on these beautiful floats constructed by the Battle of Flowers Association. Every year, over four hundred thousand people line the streets of downtown San Antonio to watch this parade progress down its two-and- a-half- mile route. The Queen, Princess, and the Court of Duchesses spend the evenings of Fiesta Week at The Order of The Alamo’s renowned Fiesta parties: the delightful Royal Garden Party and the beautiful Queen’s Ball.
The Coronation of the Queen of Fiesta by THE ORDER OF THE ALAMO is one of the central features of San Antonio’s Fiesta week celebration. The Order is proud to produce an event of such majesty and beauty. With the exceptions of the professional guest musicians and set designers, all planning and production is handled by volunteer members and friends of The Order. Approximately three years of planning and preparation go into the production of each Coronation. The Order is rewarded for its efforts by the wonderful reception given The Coronation by San Antonio’s citizens, and by the national acclaim awarded our city for its unique and fantastic Fiesta celebration.
The Name of the organization shall be “The Order of the Alamo”. It is formed for the purpose of educating its members and the public generally in the history of the Independence of Texas and perpetuating the memory of the Battle of San Jacinto by having an annual ceremony in Bexar County, Texas. All the proceeds from the sale of admission tickets to it’s member and the general public shall be used exclusively for the educational purposes of this organization and no part of such net proceeds shall inure to the benefit of any individual Member