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New Yorkers go all-out for Queen’s Platinum Jubilee at Manhattan’s Tea & Sympathy


Strings of miniature Union Jacks fluttered in the breeze outside Tea & Sympathy, the West Village’s own British tea house, as Americans and expats alike gathered Saturday to cheer Queen Elizabeth II and the record-breaking 70th anniversary of her reign.

“Where else would a Brit be in New York?” asked London-born Amanda Rodrigues as she waited for a spot of celebratory tea. “No other monarch in history served for 70 years. There is no one else like her.”

Partygoers nibbled finger sandwiches and fish and chips as a jazz band played outside the Greenwich Ave. tea shop.

The queen herself even put in an appearance — in the form of a life-size cutout that patrons posed alongside for selfies.

Essex native Sophie Hays, 34, a photo retoucher from Brooklyn, wore a lavender fascinator, a frilly and festive chapeau often seen adorning the heads of female guests at royal weddings.

“Platinum is a pretty big deal,” she said as she lingered over high tea with fiancé Chris Hart, 37, and an Australian friend, Michael Haydon, 34. The three shared a pot of English Breakfast tea and champagne as they plucked miniature cakes and scones with clotted cream from a three-tiered tray.

“When we decided we were going to do this, I said I have to wear the hat,” Hays added. “It’s an English tradition.”

Jess Lucas of North Wales, 25, took the morning off from her au pair job in Westchester to celebrate the Queen’s big day.

“She’s such an icon, isn’t she? She always looks well,” Lucas said. “Seventy years in reign is a long time. She’s been in reign for so long and she brings so much tourism to the country.”

Lucas, whose brother is a Welsh guard at Buckingham Palace, was keenly aware of the joyous doings across the pond.

“Everyone at home is having street parties,” she said. “It’s nice to see all the decorations … nice to see everyone joining in. I’m hearing British accents all around.”

The restaurant boosted the festivities with special Union Jack dresses for female staffers and an appearance by Flotilla, a well-known drag queen in a long psychedelic frock, who served as judge for a “queen for a day” contest.

Hays and her lilac-hued lid won the title, claiming a sash and a sequined flag.

“It’s an honor,” she grinned. “It felt great.”

“Today is another example of our city’s multiculturalism,” said State Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan), who stopped in for a glass of champagne and a Cornish hen sandwich.

“It’s always nice to have a little piece of Britain on Greenwich Avenue.”