In 1986 the Imperial Court was founded and a long line of Royals were born beginning with Imperial Majesties Emperor I George The First and Empress I Sybil The First. In 1990 a documentary titled Paris is Burning was created exposing a different side of New York underground atypical drag ball culture. Drag was beginning to mean more than a man wearing a dress. Out of these humble beginnings a royal fantasy extravaganza known as the Night of a Thousand Gowns evolved.The pomp and circumstance, glamour and glitz in drag today, would shock and please the late legendary drag queen Pepper le beija featured in the documentary film Paris is Burning.
On the night of March 29th,2014 a thousand gowns and crowns came together and the Imperial Court of New York crowned Emperor XXXII Tony Monteleone and Empress XXVIII Twinkle Montgomery as the new Imperial Sovereign Majesties. The Imperial Court includes Dukes and Duchesses Prince and princesses excluding the royal title of Queen. Jose Sarria , founder of the Imperial Court system was quoted as saying ''Why be a Queen when you can be an Empress''?
This year’s special guest was the hilarious outspoken comedienne Sandra Bernhard whose performance entertained the guests as they dined. Honorary chair Marsha Mason walked the red carpet along with Edith Windsor the recipient of the Imperial Diamond Award. The Imperial Court of New York raises awareness and financial support for the LGBT community through performing and fundraising. Please contact Gary Cosgrove , president of the Imperial Court of New York for information .