Les American Friends of Versailles fêtent leurs 25 ans !
25 ans après avoir créé les American Friends of Versailles à l’initiative d’Olivier de Rohan, alors Président de la Société des Amis de Versailles, Madame Catharine Hamilton a célébré cet anniversaire au château de Versailles le 10 juin 2023, entourée des Amis Américains et Français qui l’ont accompagnée toutes ces années dans cette formidable aventure.
25 years after creating the American Friends of Versailles on the initiative of Olivier de Rohan, then President of the Société des Amis de Versailles, Mrs. Catharine Hamilton celebrated this anniversary at the Palace of Versailles on June 10, 2023, surrounded by American and French Friends who have accompanied her all these years in this wonderful adventure.
Chère Madame Hamilton, en créant les American Friends of Versailles, vous avez contribué avec assion et savoir-faire au rayonnement de Versailles dans le monde et permis la restauration de lieux emblématiques du Château et de ses jardins. Merci Madame Hamilton !
Dear Mrs Hamilton, by creating the American Friends of Versailles, you contributed with passion and know-how to the influence of Versailles throughout the world and enabled the restoration of emblematic places of the Palace and its gardens. Thank you Mrs Hamilton !
“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,”
– As You Like It. : William Shakespeare
Twenty-five years is barely the blink of an eye in the lifetime of Versailles. What represents a significant landmark for the American Friends of Versailles is little more than a footnote in the near four-hundred year long history of the chateau. It is worth noting that we also celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the Rockefeller family’s generous restorations that acknowledged the value of preserving Versailles and began a tradition of American patronage. It is with considerable thanks to Olivier de Rohan whose dedication to the patrimoine of France enabled the creation of the American Friends of Versailles and it is with his encouragement that we begin our second generation.
In our twenty-five years we have enjoyed the privilege of enabling the restoration of le Bosquet des Trois Fontaines, le Pavillon Frais, La Salle Des Gardes de la Reine and le Bosquet de la Reine. With each project we helped to preserve the beauty and the grand vision of Versailles and as our name suggests we have collected friendships along the way that have enriched all of our lives.
In our earliest days we went barnstorming across America talking to a very select audience about a garden that lay in ruin and our monumental dream to revive it and to add to the Franco-American friendship that has existed since the very founding of our democracy. As our alliance grew and our vision focused we began to acquire legions of craftspeople, designers, writers, florists, caterers, planners and politicians. We learned that rebuilding a garden presented every challenge the building the garden must have.
Over the years we have been welcomed to one of the most consequential places on earth to celebrate our friendship. Versailles exists as a work that will likely never be repeated. It is a world unto itself and to be received by such a place speaks to the appreciation of our efforts.
As I reflect upon the past quarter century of the American Friends of Versailles I know that many books could and will be written about what we have created. I am humbled by the support of my friends and family, I am forever astonished by the genius and grandeur of the chateau and its gardens and I am so very proud to pass the baton to a next generation to continue our work. It is with love that I thank you all.
Gloire de la France & “bye-bye.”
Mrs. David R. Hamilton (Catharine)
Founder & President Emeritus
The American Friends of Versailles
En savoir plus / More Information
Heitzmann Annick. Trianon. Le Pavillon frais en son jardin. In: Versalia. Revue de la Société des Amis de Versailles, n°10, 2007. pp. 58-76.
L’hommage vidéo de ses amis français à Catharine Hamilton / The French Friends’ video as a tribute to Catharine Hamilton :
Donations by US tax residents to the American Friends of Versailles, a 501(c)3 charity, are tax deductible to the maximum extent allowed by law.
Pour les résidents des Etats-Unis d’Amérique : Les dons peuvent bénéficier d’une réduction fiscale par les American Friends of Versailles, « 501(c)3 charity ».