Gala de Versailles Series In New York Stuns With Royal Opulence

By Kelsey Goldberg
Photography courtesy of American Friends Of Versailles

THE SCENE: Benefitting the restoration projects of the Château de Versailles, the American Friends of Versailles, the brainchild of Chicago resident Catherine Hamilton who is originally from Amarillo, presented Le Grand Gala de Versailles, an extraordinary series of events honoring The Queen’s Guards Room of the exquisite French landmark. Hundreds of guests arrived at the historic Metropolitan Club in New York City, known worldwide as one of the most elite private clubs in America. Myriad exclusive events, luncheons and cocktails were attended throughout the week of festivities at the fabulous residences of many honorable chairmen and committee members, culminating in a special reception in the Palace of Versailles itself.

THE VIBE: Many spectacular festivities occurred in order to honor this tremendous event. The unforgettable week kicked off with a welcome reception and tour of the beautiful, private art collection of Aso O Tavitian. Following, Henry and Nancy Kissinger hosted a magnificent luncheon at the River Club. This first evening also included an elegant cocktail reception and buffet cocktail dinatoire at the residence of one of board member Elizabeth Segerstrom. The next day continued with a view of an incredible art collection at the residence of Francine LeFrak Friedberg and Rick Friedberg and a luncheon to follow.

The main event of The Grand Dinner took place in New York City at the elite Metropolitan Club. There was also an extremely successful Silent Auction stemming from the exclusive donors Comité Montaigne, an association of prestigious luxury houses. The events continued with another luncheon put on by the jewelry designer Kenneth Jay Lane, festive cocktails at the Colony Club, and a light dinner at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. William Maroney with entertainment from internationally acclaimed pianist, Princesse Caroline Murat. Next, another luncheon was held at the grand historic Rockefeller estate and mingling to continue at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. John Gutfreund. Lastly, there was a lovely Farewell Buffet to complete the spectacular week of events that occurred.

THE CAUSE: Benefitting The American Friends of Versailles, the honorable chairmen of the Restoration Committee Kimberly and Steven Rockefeller, Pilar and Juan Pablo Molyneux, Lydia and Robert Forbes, Francine Lefrak Friedberg and Rick Friedberg, and Catharine and David Hamilton and many more members helped make this event a success. The mission of this event was to successfully restore the deteriorated ceilings of the Queen’s Guards Room in the Palace of Versailles to the historically significant, architectural gem as it was originally designed. It was inspiring to see all of the intense dedication in bringing this mission to life.

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