An 18-year-old university student recently attended a gala at the ‘Prince’ of Poland’s palace in London, after being invited by the prince himself.
Mitzi Danielson-Kaslik, born and raised in Douglas, was invited to the ball because of the notoriety she acquired particularly in Eastern Europe from her two published fiction books.
Her links to the region stem from having family from what was then Czechoslovakia, with her grandparents having to escape during the communist era which took place between 1948 to 1989.
Although Poland’s monarchy was abolished in 1918, John Zylynski, calls himself the ‘Prince of Poland’.
He is an English-born, aristocratic property developer, and was the son of a Polish war hero who was uprooted by the communist government.
In 2015 Mr Zylynski ran as a candidate to be mayor of London. He holds the annual gala for one of his charities the Kidney Foundation at his ‘palace’.
The venue, ‘The White House’, which is in Ealing, is a reconstruction of his grandmother’s 18th century palace which was burned down during the communist era.
Mitzi said: ‘I was not expecting to be invited, however, when I was there organisers seemed to be aware of me in regard to my writing.’
The tenor of the Royal Opera House and the ex-principal of the Polish National Ballet were also guests at the event.
At the gala, Mr Zylynski made a speech where he spoke about his family’s escape from Poland and the story behind the venue.
The former Ballakermeen pupil said: ‘I spoke to him after his speech, to say how interesting it was, and how nice it was to meet someone else with family who had to leave their country because of the communist regime.
‘I also spoke to him a bit about my charity work.’
The English and philosophy student has been in the process of setting up a charity in the island called Helping Hand.
She had cared for her grandfather when she was younger,.
She said: ‘My grandad also struggled with trauma from the war. He was in a hospice, and he was struggling to explain his circumstances and what he needed.
‘I wrote him a card explaining about his Alzheimer’s and trauma from the war, which he found helped him when he went out, and it made him more comfortable.
She added: ‘Before having the card he was more scared to leave the house in case something went wrong.
‘I figured there must be other people like him, so since I have written 70 cards for different people and I am applying for it to become a charity.
‘The aim is for it to help people of all ages who may have difficulties communicating their circumstances.’
Mitzi will be publishing her third book ‘L’etranger’ in the next month.
Mitzi has been invited to the prince’s New Year’s Eve Ball and is planning on attending.