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Resourceful Royal York Staff Keeps Prince Philip Awards Ceremony On Track During July 5 Blackout

Quick-thinking staff at the Royal York Hotel saved the day when the power went off at the Royal York just as Prince Philip began handing out the Duke of Edinburgh's Awards to 120 high-school students.

July 7, 2010

Fairmont Royal York.

Fairmont Royal York.

At the Fairmont Royal York hotel on July 5, the room went black just as Prince Philip started to hand out the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards in the Canadian Room to 120 high-school students.

According to the Globe and Mail, the Royal York’s chef, David Garcelon, used a van owned by the hotel’s florist to send food to the nearby culinary school at George Brown College, where prep work for the royal dinner was completed.

The meal, according to the Globe piece, was scaled back to three courses: poached Nova Scotia lobster; Alberta beef tenderloin and maple-syrup crunch with a dark-chocolate truffle.

In the Royal York’s Concert Hall, technicians rewired the lighting, using just eight theatrical lights powered by a generator to illuminate the room, according to the article.

When the hotel’s power came back on at 6:37 p.m., as guests mingled in the dimly lit ballroom, hotel staff rushed to readjust again.

By the time the Queen sat down for dinner, power had been restored.

Visit the Globe’s site

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