Yet Another Versailles Ball!


Officially, it was not another Versailles war. (In 1974,  former director Gerald Van Der Kemp  had organized a contest inviting ten French and American fashion designers to raise money) … but it could have been.

Melinda Hansen was wearing a green Oscar de la Renta dress

while the young Mrs de Mortemart was a sensation in her Pierre Cardin’s dress set as a spring. The Countess de Vogüe wore a vintage Givenchy with great panache

… and many others,including Roxanne Mankin Cason, a New York philanthropist involved with Save the Children

All in honor of the Sun King !

You have to be in Versailles on such a beautiful Summer night as I was last Friday, fortunate guest of the American Friends of Versailles, to realize that Versailles is an ode to the Sun. Before disappearing behind the Château, the last rays of sun set fire to the Grille du Roi.

Seen from the gardens, the last golden touch is for the Château.


It was the fourth ball organized by Catharine Hamilton in honor of the American Friends of Versailles, a philanthropic organization she created in 1998 to help restore the gardens of Versailles.

After the Bosquet des Trois Fontaines, the organization plans to restore the Pavillon Frais at Trianon. The new President of Les Amis de Versailles, the Baron Roland de L’Espée,  a position previoulsy occupied by Olivier de Rohan who stepped down-, together with Catharine, entertained that night. All the VIPs were there, including President of Versailles and former Minister Jean-Jacques Aillagon, US ambassador Charles Rivkin,with his charming wife , following in her Louboutin stilettos, Caroline Sarkozy, the President’s half sister who came with the President’s brother, Barbara de Portago, daughter of Florence and Gerald Van der Kemp and « first American raised in the Château of Versailles ».
The best part of the evening  remains for me, after the Spectacle of Les Grandes Eaux, the extraordinary fireworks with music by Lulli as imagined for the inaugural fête « Plaisirs de l’île enchantée » organized by a 25-year old Louis XIV in 1664. « We are quite delighted at Versailles ; each day brings new pleasures, plays, concerts, and suppers on water.. » wrote Madame de Sévigné in her Letters.

The most privileged of us are very fortunate that we can still enjoy its pleasures

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Yet Another Versailles Ball!

  1. My husband and I have been members of the La Société des Amis de Versailles for a few years. I’d actually like to join the American side. As for the ball…the best one is to have experienced it in full period costume! You can see a post I did about here!
    http://thetravelingpear.com/2011/07/10/591/

  2. My spouse and I stumbled over here coming from a different web address and thought I may as well check things out.
    I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to looking over your web page
    again.

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