I'm glad Utica Daily News presented the "other side" of the Princess Lenska story. The Observer-Dispatch's unprovoked attack on her credibility was like pulling up the "Welcome" mat and turning out the lights. Here is someone from outside the area who is actually investing in a beloved Utica landmark, hasn't asked for a dime of public funds, and -- if we're lucky -- may sponsor some cultural events, and the first thing the OD thinks of is questioning her title?
In so far as the embassy response, did the OD ever stop to think that the existence of Polish royalty might be considered a threat to the Polish government, and, therefore, would be something to deny?
UDN quoted the princess as saying:
"I did a lot of research online found that there's this core group of people who hate this city have been doing everything possible to destroy the city of Utica--pull her down," she said.An interesting statement ... especially coming from an outsider, no? Why do I have a nagging feeling that the royal title would not have been questioned if Lenska had chosen a property in New Hartford?
The unwelcoming attitude was unnecessary and, really, very Un-Utican (though the OD isn't "Utican" anymore anyway). For over 100 years Utica has opened its doors to thousands of refugees from all over the world, most of whom were dirt poor, but took their new found freedom and made something of themselves. . . . and Utica was a richer place for it. Why should it be different for a princess?
Geez . . . . We had a "Marchesa" for years and no one cared about the authenticity of her title. Why is it so different today? What mattered back then was the pleasure she brought to a lot of Italian American families on her radio show 50 years ago... and her striking presence in the community. Titles aren't important -- this is America, after all. What counts is what people do.. . . And it will be the same for HRH Lenska . . . if she is given a chance.
Maybe the OD is showing the fear of some of our local society matrons . . . afraid of being pushed out of the limelight by someone with cachet, perhaps?
Princess Lenska, don't be discouraged by the OD (or the other naysayers). When ever people are asked in local public meetings what Utica needs most, "a new newspaper" is the invariable response.
Bring a touch of royal class, help this community shake off its moribund grayness, rattle the cages of our so-called "elite," . . . and you will earn the title of Princess in our hearts.