Etiquette Hell

A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. Guests, register for forum membership to see all the boards. => Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange => Topic started by: Brisvegasgal on August 24, 2013, 05:24:34 PM

Title: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: Brisvegasgal on August 24, 2013, 05:24:34 PM
I was watching a movie last night and they crowned a king & queen at a prom. I'm guessing that because it happens so often in movies that it is a real thing. Is that right? And how does it work? Do people just write random names on a piece of paper or is there some kind of pre prom voting system? Also are there kings & queens of other events?
Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: KenveeB on August 24, 2013, 05:46:31 PM
Yes, it's a real thing, or at least at many schools. Not all schools necessarily do it. Generally there are nominations in advance to choose the "court", and on prom night the king and queen are announced.

If there's a prom king/queen, then there usually isn't a king/queen of other events. But some schools have something different in place of the prom court. When I was a kid, my school had the "coronation" -- a big school-wide event. A king and queen would be chosen of the senior class, the other high schoolers would be the royal court, and the lower classes would put on little skits and songs to entertain the court. I got to be one of the queen's train-bearers in 1st grade, and it was a huge deal. :)  That was a really small school, though. It couldn't have been done at the larger schools I went to. I heard even that school stopped doing it a while back.
Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: camlan on August 24, 2013, 05:47:32 PM
Yes, it is a real thing at many US high schools.

There can also be a Homecoming King and Queen. Prom is the seniors' last dance before they graduate, and is usually a formal affair. Homecoming is usually in the fall, during football season, and is a day or weekend when graduates of the school return to campus for the "big game." The students will have a big dance that weekend, as well.

Typically, there is some sort of nomination and/or voting process for the King and Queen in the weeks leading up to the prom. In some schools, there may also be voting for junior, sophomore and/or freshman Princes and Princesses. The results are usually announced during the dance.
Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: PastryGoddess on August 24, 2013, 09:57:44 PM
Yup definitely real. 

In my high school, the seniors (year 12) were prom King and Queen,  Juniors(year 11) were Prince and Princesses, Sophomores(year 10) were Dukes and Duchesses, and Freshmen(year 9) were Earls and Countesses.  All of the positions were voted on individually by members of that class. 

Homecoming King and Queen could be anyone from Sophomore-Seniors.  Freshmen were not allowed on the ballot, but they could vote. 
Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: Sharnita on August 24, 2013, 10:07:40 PM
It works differently at different schools. In my experience,the students attending have to buy tickets ahead of time so there is a list of all the.girls and all the boys. From that list, people vote at the beginning of the evening. They announce king and queen toward the end of the evening. They aren't always dating each other.

Homecoming court is elected and then from the court king and qieen are elected.
Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: kudeebee on August 25, 2013, 12:54:06 AM
In the schools in the areas we have lived there is a homecoming court.  Some courts are only seniors, some include representatives from each class.  In each case, the king/queen are chosen from the seniors.  I don't recall any schools having prom king/queens in the places we lived, though friends will talk about that.  When I was in high school, we had a homecoming queen only chosen from seniors and a winter snowball king/queen chosen from senior candidates.
Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: kherbert05 on August 25, 2013, 07:01:00 AM
I'm in Texas. During the holy season called football you have homecoming. For homecoming you must have a king and queen.


Prom King and Queen we didn't have. I think that would be a bigger deal at a school where Jr and/or Senior prom were the students first big formal dance.


The way it worked for us -
8th grade you took ballroom dance from the Smiths. Classes had no connection to the school district but were grouped by your HS. There were some exceptions Cousin C took the class with the kids that would go on to my HS, because her HS was in a different county and she knew a lot of kids from Church who would go to my HS. It was required that there be at least on blow out fight between rival HS between classes. (Why they scheduled rival schools one after the other I don't know.)


9 - 11 grade you were in Dance club. You paid dues, had a board, planned 4 - 5 dances a year.  Ranging from Hayride casual to very formal. I HATE that type of thing still by the time I was in 11th grade I had 10 or more formal dresses.


12th grade/senior year - some clubs kept going. One of my first cousins is in her 60's and their club still has 1 casual and 1 formal dance a year. Others disbanneded


Honestly by Prom time we had had it with formal dances. Most people just bought tickets to have a reason to stay out all night, rented limos, got wasted (Legally for most of them drinking age was 18 then), got hotel rooms and played scrabble. I stayed home. [size=78%]Those that did show made quite an impressions. Especially the group in the gold [/size]Mercedes[size=78%]  They got lost and stopped to ask the nice police officers for help. Which led to a lecture Monday over the [/size]announcements[size=78%] that if you got lost, especially in the 4th or 5th wards, don't stop and ask the police for help - when they have their guns out and 10 guys leaning on a wall being searched. [/size][size=78%]I went to school with idiots! By the time of Sis's prom it was announced if you bought a ticket but  did not show by X time and stay till the end your parents would be called. [/size]
Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: #borecore on August 25, 2013, 09:20:05 AM
I went to high school in Texas and we had a homecoming king and queen, but we did not pick them again for prom. The homecoming king and queen were seniors, and they were voted on by a process of nomination then election, with one person from the major cliques (band, sports, nerds, richy-rich kids and non-white kids (disclaimer--this is how it was seen broadly, not by me specifically; many nominees crossed boundaries and thus were exceptionally popular)) generally making it onto the court, and the jocks winning in the end. Some years a special ed kid or very popular nerd would have the edge, though.

Aside from the ceremony at halftime of the homecoming football game (all the nominees came out wearing their homecoming dresses or suits, and the winner was announced, with the girl given a big bouquet and maybe a tiara or sash), I don't recall it meaning a darn thing. We didn't have a parade or a special dance for the winners or anything. The nominees *might* have had to do a skit at a pep rally, but that's about all I recall.

We also had the 'superlatives' but I don't remember voting on them really mattering -- the yearbook staff had the final say, so their friends were generally picked as that grade's "most popular," "best dressed," "best couple," "most likely to succeed," etc.
Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: Yvaine on August 25, 2013, 09:31:25 AM
We had homecoming king/queen and May king/queen. For homecoming, students could vote all of the preceding week (there was a ballot box in the Student Council room for this) and they announced the king/queen and the court at a coronation ceremony day or two before the dance. IIRC, there was one song at the dance where just the court danced. For homecoming, the court was made up of the 10 or so runners-up in the election. For May court, the faculty nominated the court and then students voted for a king and queen within that group. So while homecoming court was pretty much only the wealthy/athletic crowd, May court was a little more diverse. The May event was separate from prom and had the coronation and some staged dances, for which the dancers were also chosen by faculty nomination (this is where I came in!). Also known as an excuse to wear your prom dress again. ;)
Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: cwm on August 26, 2013, 10:24:23 AM
We didn't have homecoming court, but did have Prom court. Just a King and Queen. How it worked was that there was one day that all the seniors filled out a ballot composed of the entire senior class. The top five of each gender was nominated on a general ballot, and the voting was open to the entire school, regardless of whether you had a ticket to Prom.

Prom was only open to juniors/seniors (years 11/12), and near the end of the night, the winners would be announced and they'd have a dance. It usually ended up at our school that they were dating. All the "popular" couples that were on the ballot made signs and posted them all over the school reminding people to vote for them.

Personally, I always understood it to be nothing more than the popularity contest it was and never paid it too much attention. None of my friends ever made it on the ballot, and the people that did wouldn't have ever given me a second look in the hallways, so I kind of ignored the whole thing.
Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: Seraphia on August 26, 2013, 10:43:35 AM
We had a two-fold approach to Prom/Homecoming court. Ballots went out where you could nominate anyone you liked, then later on, a second ballot would go around with the names of those most often nominated. For freshman through junior year, you could only be nominated for the Court - only seniors could be King/Queen. There was also a rule in place that if you won a place on Court, you could not be on it again.

Our class actually specifically passed around a message that one particular girl was not to be voted in as Court representative because people wanted someone nice to be Homecoming Queen. (She was so happy!) Court was announced at the pep rally right before the big game for Homecoming or at the dance for Prom.
Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: Hmmmmm on August 26, 2013, 11:09:57 AM
We live in Texas. At my kids' HS they have Prom King and Queen. Students are nominated about a month before prom and then the 4 or 5 with the highest number of nominations are then voted on the week of prom. The ones with the highest vote counts are announced as Prom King and Queen and the others nominated are part of their "court". At their school, they actually announce the winners prior to prom but do a "crowning" ceremony at the dance.

For Homecoming, they also have a Homecoming court. Each grade nominates candidates and then each grade votes for their favorites. The elected seniors are Homecoming King and Queen and the other grades elected favorites are part of the court.

When I grew up, in addition to the homecoming king and queen, each organization would select a senior girl as "sweetheart" to represent their group at the parade and football half time ceremony. My kids school doesn't do this as it's too large and just too many different organizations. 
Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: Ms_Cellany on August 26, 2013, 11:14:25 AM
I went to MIT in the early 80's when it was still about 80% male. Instead of King and Queen, they had Ugliest Man on Campus.  Candidates had to raise money for charity; biggest money-raiser won UMOC.

Don't know if they still do this or have made it gender-neutral.

ETA that I just Googled it, and it's now "Ugliest Manifestation on Campus."
Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: ladyknight1 on August 26, 2013, 11:21:41 AM
My son's high school has both a Homecoming court and a Prom court.

My college has a homecoming court.
Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on August 26, 2013, 12:05:27 PM
I'm in northwestern Canada and we don't do that here.  I'm glad because it never seemed to me to be anything other than an organised popularity contest.
Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: Slartibartfast on August 26, 2013, 12:28:20 PM
Usually it's a popularity contest, but occasionally it works out as something else.  In the good cases, it's a grassroots campaign to nominate some not-traditionally-popular person - a particularly nice student with special needs, a transgender student, a student with significant health problems - and show support for them as a school.  In the bad cases, it's a bullying campaign to nominate an unpopular person and then make it really clear that the election was ironic, in the "you're so ugly/unpopular/stupid you'd never stand a chance of being elected if I hadn't made it happen" kind of way.

ETA: It can also be poking fun of the other winner, too - the mean girls elect an undesirable as prom queen so the most popular guy has to dance with her, etc.  Luckily that's rare, but it does happen  :-\
Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: Hmmmmm on August 26, 2013, 01:04:52 PM
I'm in northwestern Canada and we don't do that here.  I'm glad because it never seemed to me to be anything other than an organised popularity contest.
Well, actually, that is exactly what it is. I think it is what it was meant to be. But each student gets to decide what they want to base their vote one... some pick the most handsome, some the friendliest, others vote for their social group. At my DD's school last year, her class voted the two nicest kids in their school. The boy I was actually suprised about. He's a self proclaimed HP nerd, participates in drama and choir, doesn't play a sport, is of an ethnicity that is not prominate in their school, and is not what anyone would consider overly handsome. And he'd probably only had a couple of dates in HS and even those were as group dates to school dances. But he really is one of the boys that EVERYONE was friends with because he was so darn nice and never had a bad thing to say about anyone. The girl again wouldn't have been voted most beautiful, but was an honor student, active in various activities, and was extremely nice. She even initially tried to turn down the nomination because she said she knew a lot of the other girls had always dreamed of being queen and she'd never even considered it as a possibility. DD said no one could remember her ever being involved in any junior high or high school drama. She was always the peace maker.

We think their elections were in response to a homecoming campaign like Slartibartfast described. A openly gay guy was nominated for homecoming king as a joke and they started a facebook/instagram campaign to poke fun of the guy. But the class rallied around the boy and the mean kids spearheading the meanness got outed and they were banned from all homecoming activities.
Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: GSNW on August 29, 2013, 12:22:54 AM
Ah, high school.

My school did homecoming king/queen, chosen from the senior class, and junior-sophomore-freshman prince/princesses, all voted on by the corresponding class (and everyone voted for king/queen).  Prom king and queen were nominated/voted on by the senior class. 

The town I grew up in is close to a very large Native American reservation, thusly has a large native population.  My senior year, the homecoming king was from that group.  It got really ugly and some of the "popular" kids were quite vocal and nasty about how it was "reverse racism" because "everyone from X tribe only voted for X because they are from the same tribe, and the 'white vote' was split."  Really ridiculous, you would think it was an election for something that actually mattered.

During prom, a nice pair of kids that were well-liked but not part of the popular crowd wound up on the ballot.  Everyone voted for them - or at least, enough people did that they won.  Again, the cool kids were furious that a pair of "orch dorks" won "their" contest.  I found their rage at this pretty hysterical (I was a band nerd, so felt a bit of triumph!)

Contests like this are, in my opinion, exactly what GreenEyedHawk stated they are.  And I think they do more damage than good.
Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: Thipu1 on August 29, 2013, 09:39:08 AM
The popularity angle of a Prom King and Queen election is precisely why we didn't have a Prom in High School.

Ours was a co-Ed Catholic school that drew students from the entire county and an adjoining state.  The logistics alone would have been crazy. 

Our church did a Queen and King at the annual youth dance one year but it wasn't a popularity contest.  The youth Leaders selected the honorees on the basis of service to the parish and the community.  Activities such as helping to coach Little League teams, tutoring young kids or being a Candy-Striper at the local hospital were counted.  That seems a more rational way of doing things. 
Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: GSNW on August 29, 2013, 08:45:00 PM
I would be interested to hear if anyone here went to a school where nominees actually actively campaigned for prom king/queen.  I have seen that theme in several movies but not heard of it happening in real life.

My mom was a cheerleader all four years of high school.  She told me that the system at her school was that girls auditioned and the coaches would pick more than necessary - say, 20, but only 15 of them could be on the squad.  So the 20 that auditioned would have to campaign and the school would pick which 15 they wanted to represent them.

I can't figure out why she put herself through that!
Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: Sharnita on August 29, 2013, 09:04:20 PM
No, nobody campaigned. They were pretty mellow.
Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: PastryGoddess on August 29, 2013, 09:11:54 PM
Yeah there was no campaigning really, but everyone knew who was putting their name up for nomination.
Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: AvidReader on August 30, 2013, 06:52:38 AM
DS was nominated to be in the Homecoming Court and was thus on the ballot to be voted Homecoming King during his Senior Year, 10 years ago.  PPs have informed on this activity.  We had to buy DS his first suit.  The crowning of the King and Queen was to be at a fall football game.  So, DH and I had to go to the game to see the outcome.  It was the only game we went to.  High school football, while big in our major metropolitan area, is not the be-all and end-all of Friday nights like it is in many parts of the country. 

So, at half-time, the Homecoming Court was presented on the field and after the crowning, with large velvet-lined crowns similar to the large crown that the Queen wears to open Parliament, the King (not DS) and Queen were enrobed in purple capes with faux ermine fringe and got into the back of a golf-cart, facing out, for a spin around the football field while all the time making the royal wave.  I never laughed so hard in my life.  We didn't stay for the rest of the game.  I think the K&Q and the Court were also presented at the follow-on Homecoming Dance.
Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: Brisvegasgal on August 31, 2013, 01:12:36 AM
Thanks very much for your answers. I love that I can post random questions on this site to find out the the way things work on the other side of the world :)
Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: faithlessone on August 31, 2013, 10:23:51 AM
How's this for a British twist?

My school's sixth form (Junior/Senior year of high-school) had a Head Boy and Head Girl - who were picked by a process of a shortlist (drawn up by the teachers, 6 of each) and then a vote. It was always a popularity contest, but the shortlist meant that the right people usually won. We had a Sixth Form Ball every year right before the Summer holidays, which was when the following year's HB/HG were announced. They were given their badges by their 'out-going' counterparts.

I recently discovered that the year after I left, they went a bit more American, and the HB/HG are now crowned and have a dance together after the announcement!
Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: Twik on September 03, 2013, 02:13:07 PM
It's possible to have a prom without a king/queen. It's just a dance.
Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: EllenS on September 03, 2013, 03:40:07 PM
Here in the Deep South in the late 80's we had a Homecoming King & Queen...I remember a good bit of gossip/speculation about who would win, but it was really just the same 2 or 3 popular people whose names always came up.  I'm not sure anyone but their "crowd" even bothered voting.

I don't remember if we had Prom King & Queen or not.
Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: MurPl1 on September 24, 2013, 05:13:33 PM
When I was in HS outside Chicago there were three big dances - HC, Winter Ball and Prom.  All had a King/Queen.  But the HC court was really the biggest honor.  Mostly because of the pageantry that went with it.  The senior class nominated and from that were the 5 boys and 5 girls to select the king and queen from.  All four grades voted in the week before homecoming.   The culmination of the week's events were the HC ceremony on Friday afternoon where the king and queen were announced.  From there the court went to ride on the court float in the HC parade around town.  That night at the game the queen and her court were introduced at the football game half-time.  And then they were also introduced at the dance.  So it was quite a deal.

For the other two dances the nominations were at the dance itself so they were just a deal for that night.

Definitely no campaigning.

DSD went to HS here in Dallas and HC is still very much the be-all, end-all of HS royalty honors.  Prom is similar.  But their winter dance were broader honors.  They had an all-around Mr and Miss HS, but that's also when they honored friendliest, best smile, likely to succeed, etc.

Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: jedikaiti on September 24, 2013, 05:33:51 PM
Thanks very much for your answers. I love that I can post random questions on this site to find out the the way things work on the other side of the world :)

Having gone to a US school that didn't have homecoming or a court (all girls school, no football, although many of my classmates went to homecoming as dates to the schools that did), I was rather curious as well.

Kinda glad I missed out - I was never popular.
Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: Katana_Geldar on September 24, 2013, 05:56:18 PM
How important are these things after? I personally think that one of the best things about high school is no matter how important it is when you were there, minute you're out it doesn't matter anymore.
Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: Yvaine on September 24, 2013, 05:57:06 PM
How important are these things after? I personally think that one of the best things about high school is no matter how important it is when you were there, minute you're out it doesn't matter anymore.

Not a bit.
Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: mime on September 24, 2013, 06:40:24 PM
I remember in my senior year when a classmate "C" was surprised and a bit nervous that he was nominated for homecoming king. I wouldn't say he was campaigning when he quietly asked me one day if I'd vote for him for king. He said "I know I'm not going to win, but I don't want to be the guy with zero votes."

He was not part of the popular crowd like the other nominees who played hockey or wrestled. He was a hard-working student and a great representative of our student body. My graduating class of about 350kids was nearly 1/3 Hmong students who (like "C") had not been here more than 8 years at that time. Language preferences and cultural differences led to a lot of self-segregation. I can imagine they spent a lot of time at our school feeling marginalized as they were not the hockey players or cheerleaders.

At the homecoming coronation, it appears that the cool-kid vote got split among the other five nominees, and everyone else voted for "C". The memory still makes me smile.

That said: after high school (in fact, after homecoming week), it really doesn't matter... like so many things in high school!
Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: Katana_Geldar on September 24, 2013, 06:42:29 PM
I wish I'd known when I was in high school that stuff like that didn't matter..but if you try and tell the young people of today that, they won't believe you!
Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: Yvaine on September 24, 2013, 06:46:09 PM
I wish I'd known when I was in high school that stuff like that didn't matter..but if you try and tell the young people of today that, they won't believe you!

I don't think it's "of today"--in fact, I think there was a lot more emphasis on these courts in earlier generations, and I think every generation of teenagers feels like they're stuck in the teen years forever and that everything is really super duper important.
Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: #borecore on September 24, 2013, 06:56:26 PM
I also have the sense that they used to matter more.

In my school, they didn't "matter" so much as "draw attention." There's a big difference. The 598 of us in my senior class not selected for homecoming king/queen (and 575 of us never selected as finalists in any popularity contest ever) didn't "care" about not being picked, necessarily, so much as see it as a confirmation of the existing social order.

I still remember the two people who were our honorees, and I certainly have no ill feeling toward either one. They were successful, talented people who didn't happen to be my friends.
Title: Re: Prom king & queen...is this a real thing?
Post by: Hmmmmm on September 24, 2013, 08:53:11 PM
How important are these things after? I personally think that one of the best things about high school is no matter how important it is when you were there, minute you're out it doesn't matter anymore.

Not a bit.
It's important in college if you are pledging a sorority but I don't know of anything else. Even fraternities don't care.