King and Queen of Lul: Russell and Angell Diggs

King Russell Diggs Sr. and Queen Angell Diggs.

For Russell Diggs Sr. and wife Angell, riding with the Krewe of Lul is quite the tradition – the couple wed 37 years ago, and have been riding ever since exchanging vows.

This time is a little different, though. This time, they’re royalty.

The two will reign as King and Queen of Lul as the parade rolls Saturday, taking their shared tradition to another level.

“We were shocked and both so excited,” Angell said. “They came to our house and asked me if I wanted to be Queen. I said, ‘What?’ ‘Do you want to be the Queen of Lul?’ and of course I did. My husband was out in the back and we brought him in … it’s a big honor.”

Russell said the phone calls and congratulations have been rolling in.

“They’re telling us they’ll be hollering and cheering us on,” Russell said.

He said that this means a lot to the couple for reasons beyond the couple’s longtime enjoyment of the parade.

“For as long as Lul’s been organized, we are the first black King and Queen,” he said. “So, we feel like we’re making history. It’s already been a lot of fun … the Krewe of Lul, the Luling community, they’ve been setting everything up for everybody to have a really nice time. They’ve treated us wonderfully. I couldn’t ask for more.”

The two have been enjoying retirement. Russell worked at Monsanto for 30 years prior to retirement, while Angell taught in St. James Parish at Lutcher and St. James high schools over her own 30-year tenure.

They have three children, 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Russell was born and raised in Boutte, while Angelle has lived there since the two were married – she is originally from Gramercy,

They will ride upon their specially-made King and Queen float, but their traditional family float will be trailing just behind.

“We call it the Krewe of Rhapsody … but this year, we’re calling it the Royal Family,” Angell said. “The parade is always so family-oriented, and that’s how it is for us. Our children, our grandchildren, my sisters and their children. My mother rode with us too, before she passed … a lot of people are going to be riding with us, most of them family.”

They’ll have plenty of throws as well for everyone awaiting their arrival on the route.

“We have magnets, a lot of stuffed animals,” said Russell. “We’re really looking forward to it. We love throwing the throws and seeing all of our friends out there – it really gives us a thrill. I just love carnivals.”


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