So it was that prior to the grand parade down Collins Avenue,
she found herself arm in arm with Mayor Dermer, holding a pair of enormous
novelty scissors. Behind them stood the various dancers and drummers, and the
stairway leading to the exhibition of the princess' jade. Having been introduced
by the museum's director as a "descendant of a great Vietnamese warrior,"
Thi-Nga paused before cutting the ribbon to dedicate the exhibition to Gia Long,
and to "all of those who have sought refuge in this great nation."
She then led the museum patrons on a tour of the collection,
recounting her history. She invited them to join her in the museum's anteroom
for a performance by musicians from the New World Symphony. She graciously
signed autographs for a couple of bystanders, including one who addressed her as
"your highness." Thi-Nga may be a princess of a defunct empire, but for one
night, she was queen.