Giuliani Becomes Honorary Knight

ByABC News
February 13, 2002, 3:45 PM

L O N D O N, Feb. 13 -- Draped in an oversized sash and a string of medals, the master of ceremonies pounded his gavel on the hardwood floor of the ornate reception room.

"My lords, ladies, would you kindly take your seats," he announced. "The guests of honor have arrived. Pray silence."

London's Lord Mayor, Britain's Prince Andrew and New York's former mayor Rudolph Giuliani, the newest Knight of the British Empire strolled into the dining room, which echoed with applause.

Not a Real Sir

Officially, Giuliani will not be called "Sir Rudy." But under the crystal chandeliers and amidst the multi-million dollar Dutch oil paintings of the London Mansion House, his well-wishers made an exception for their knight in shinning armor.

After the guests, a mix of royal courtiers, businessmen, politicians, journalists and American ex-patriots, dined on lobster and spirits, they got a taste of Big Apple charm.

Giuliani quipped he might try shouting "pray silence" before his next speech in Brooklyn.

"Shut up you bum," Giuliani mimicked with a heavy New York accent, predicting the response.

London's Lord Mayor, whose square-mile constituency consists mainly of banks and big businesses, pointed out that Prince Andrew's predecessor appointed New York's first mayor in 1665 after a triumphant military victory.

A smiling Giuliani replied that his only regret was not asking Queen Elizabeth's son to help him extend term limits.

A Fine Brew

But all joking and the oddity of a mostly British chorus singing the "Star Spangled Banner" aside, Giuliani struck a cord with his audience. Most attendees had contributed to funds for the families of the World Trade Center attack victims.

Giuliani compared New York's experience after the attacks to Nazi Germany's air raids on London during the Blitz.

"Londoners were attacked for months, and somehow they were able to get on with their lives. I kept saying if they can do it, we can do it."

The Lord Mayor closed the ceremonial luncheon likening Giuliani to a tea bag.