"The community eagerly anticipates the transformative impact these remarkable young women will have."

Introducing the new faces of the Hernando de Soto Historical Society, we proudly present De Soto Queen Alexandria Cruz and De Soto Princess Kaylah Gunst, who have gracefully taken on their roles as ambassadors of the society’s rich historical heritage. With their charisma and passion for their community, these young women are poised to make a significant impact during their reign.

Both Alexandria and Kaylah possess a genuine desire to engage with the community and raise awareness about the rich heritage preserved by the Hernando de Soto Historical Society. Their passion for history, combined with their vibrant personalities, makes them ideal representatives for this esteemed organization. Throughout their reign, the De Soto Queen and Princess will participate in various cultural events, educational programs, and community outreach initiatives, showcasing the society’s mission of honoring and preserving their local history.



Alexandria Cruz, De Soto Queen 2023, enjoys going to the local beaches, and coaching cheerleading. She is currently studying at the State College of Florida and has plans to become an Anesthesiologist and help children in need.

Alli wants to thank everyone in the organization for giving her this opportunity to represent the Hernando do Soto Historical Society. One of her favorite memories while on Queen’s Court was the bus ride to the Ybor City parade. As the new De Soto Queen, she is looking forward to meeting new people and teaching them about the organization. She also can’t wait to see how excited children will be to see the Conquistadors and Royal Family.
Alexandria is sponsored by Manatee Pressure Washer.


  • My favorite food is Chicken Parmesan
  • I love to read a good book
  • My favorite holiday is Christmas because I enjoy spending time with my family


Kaylah Gunst, De Soto Princess 2023, enjoys going on new adventures with friends and spending time with her dog. She is currently attending the State College of Florida. After completing her bachelor’s degree, she plans to become a traveling trauma nurse.
Kaylah’s favorite moment on Queen’s Court was on the way to the St. Patrick’s Day parade on Anna Maria Island, when the music stopped working and all the girls sang “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys. As the new De Soto Princess, she is looking forward to all of the friendships she is going to make and adventures she is going to have with her Royal Family. Kaylah is incredibly thankful for the opportunity to represent the Society as the De Soto Princess. Olé!
Kaylah is sponsored by Delta Southern Construction.


  • I love Sushi
  • Read a book or watch a movie? I’ll grab the popcorn!
  • My other hobbies include horseback riding, ATV riding, boating and river rafting

As the Hernando de Soto Historical Society embraces the reign of Queen Alexandria Cruz and Princess Kaylah Gunst, the community eagerly anticipates the transformative impact these remarkable young women will have. Through their leadership and dedication, they will undoubtedly inspire a new generation to embrace their heritage and forge a brighter future rooted in the richness of their shared past.