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Editorial: Enjoy A Royal Experience — Locally

When we were in London several years ago we were amazed by how much America was featured on British television. They make the “pond” seem very small. We guess it has to do with our common language as well as our English cultural roots.

So, if you enjoyed watching Queen Elizabeth celebrate her Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Olympics in London, you might want to put the events happening at NYIT on your calendar.

Terri Garr Muran of Upper Brookville is bringing some of her British heritage to share with the public via her work at NYIT with a unique series of events providing “A Royal Experience.”

Festivities begin with “A Royal Style Gala” dinner, featuring one of the queen’s favorite menus from Windsor Castle, on Thursday, Sept. 20, at 6:30 p.m. at the NYIT de Seversky Mansion on the Old Westbury campus of New York Institute of Technology, with guest of honor Paul Burrell, RVM, royal butler to Princess Diana, former Princess of Wales.

Queen Elizabeth, you may know, has her favorite cocktail that is served to her wherever she goes. Ms. Muran said it is gin and Dubonnet. She added the tidbit that the queen doesn’t eat scones. “She crumbles them and feeds them to her Corgies.” Now isn’t that fun to know.

Ms. Muran said, “You will hear more from Mr. Burrell who served the British Royal family for 21 years, initially as a footman to the queen and later as a butler to Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and the young princes William and Harry. He and Diana became great friends, leading her to describe him as ‘the only man she ever trusted.’ He was with her until her untimely death on Aug. 31, 1997. Mr. Burrell is the best-selling author of A Royal Duty.”

If you like to travel to the city, the celebration continues on Friday, Sept. 21, with Style Among the Royals at the NYIT Auditorium on Broadway in Manhattan at 5:30 p.m. Following a “meet and greet” reception, Paul Burrell will speak about his life as a butler in the royal household, what “service” really means, how it has changed over the years, the lost traditions and importance of etiquette, and more.

The third event is on Saturday, Sept. 22, and is Style of a People’s Princess – Buckingham Palace Tea. The tea will be held at the NYIT de Seversky Mansion from 11a.m. to 2 p.m., dedicated to the queen and Diana, featuring their favorite teas, biscuits, fruits, and sweets. Paul Burrell will demonstrate the assembly of the flower arrangements that will be the centerpiece of every table. It will be a celebration of fashion, flowers, and fun! To replicate the feeling of a royal tea, many attendees will wear hats to “top” their ensembles. One does not need to be an anglophile to join in the celebrations of the Queen’s Jubilee.

When my daughter Lynne and I were in London we had an English Tea at Brown’s hotel, the place where Theodore Roosevelt married Edith Carow, his second wife. The tea experience was delightful after having read about it so many times. We were just annoyed at ourselves for not wearing hats. The tea on Saturday looks very doable.

All three events will raise funds for NYIT student scholarships and help in the preservation of the historic NYIT de Seversky Mansion. The Thursday dinner is $150 per person; each of the other two events is $75 per person.

As Terri Muran puts it, “Enjoy the fantasy of living a life of privilege among the Royals and relive childhood fantasies of royalty.” I think we all share some of them. For details and information, contact the organizer Ms. Terri Carr Muran at cevents@edu or 686-7676.

It’s great when the world comes to our doors. We look forward to meeting the royal butler and our bit of royalty — Ms. Muran.

– DFK