Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Versailles Foundation's 2017 Benefit dinner

The Royal Receiving Line.
On the evening of May 4th at this year’s Versailles Foundation Benefit dinner, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Leka II of the Albanians, graced the evening’s patrons with his presence and with a spectacular view into the storied past of his country. The Prince explained the strong connection to France and to Versailles, as Albania's independence was established at the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. The Albanian Royal Family sojourned near the palace after the fascist invasion of Albania in 1939.

HRH Crown Prince Leka II of the Albanians
Prince Leka spoke of the many facets of Albanian history with its Greek, Roman and Ottoman influences, and discussed the current state of this Republic. His Highness spoke of the many iterations of Albanian politics, citing his father, King Zog as a wonderful example of Albania's ability to change with the times, having been both a ruling monarch and a democratically elected official. 

The Crown Prince discussed the close relationship between Albania and the United States. Two days later His Highness is due to personally petition in Albany The New York Senate and Assembly with a day of official recognition to honor the Albanian born Mother Theresa on September 4th, the day she was made a Saint. He then paid special tribute to the Cadets of VFMAC, to whom he wished "the very best" and recalled his own experience as a Sandhurst graduate, stating that "character built during training would take one through the challenges of each ordinary day.”  

Prince Leka ended his speech on a joyful and hopeful note, citing his recent wedding to Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Elia of the Albanians, and the many cultures, religions, and traditions that were incorporated into their wedding and how the peaceful and collaborative cooperation of the Albanian people may serve to inspire sustained good will and close ties between countries, and politicians.
The Valley Forge Military Academy and College Cadets
The Valley Forge Academy Drummers Announce Dinner The Valley Forge Academy Color Guard
Barbara de Portago, Foundation President concluded the evening by telling us that in 1948, shortly before being deposed, King Farouk of Egypt announced, "the world is in revolt, soon there will be only five Kings! The King of England, The King of Hearts, The King of Diamonds, The King of Clubs, The King of Spades." Well, today there are 43 Monarchs in the world, 11 of them are in Europe.

Welcome back Your Royal Highnesses!
Taittinger Comtes de Champagne reception
HRH Crown Prince Leka II of the Albanians and HRH Crown Princess Elia of the Albanians Dr. Elizabeth Segerstrom and Ms. Christina Lyon
Mrs. Heide Canellopoulos
Foundation International Committee Member His Excellency Ambassador Musy and Foundation Director Mrs. Gillian Spreckels Fuller Mrs. John Stark
Her Royal Highness Princess Antonella of Orleans Bourbon
Mrs. Gila Michael Mrs. Tinu Naija
Mrs. Mai Harrison
Ms. Joan Granlund
Foundation Director Mrs. Camilla Koenig
Chevalier and Dame Soloway
Ms. Mary Pillsbury and Mr. Donald Wainwright Mr. and Mrs. Roger Mehle
Mr. Geoffrey Bradfield, Ms. Kimberly Paige, and Peter Worth
The Rajkumar and Rajkumari of Kapurthala Mrs. Mary Van Pelt
Richard Aviles-Ospina, Laure Vincot, and Max Maisonrouge
Dr. Michael Siegal and Mrs. Diane Britz-Lotti Foundation President, Barbara de Portago and HRH The Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia
Alana Parry, Chris Cargill, and Victoria Hood
Ms. Barbara Guss and Mr. Donald Tomlin
Dr. Susan Krysiewicz and Thomas Bell Ms. Haley Strader
Nicholas Armstrong and Samantha Rowe
Mr. Nicolas de Chambeyron Charles Disston
Dr. Bruce Horten and Ms. Cat Jagger Pollon
Foundation Junior Director Frank Spano III and Mika Devonshire Matthew Wang and Chloe Childerley
Peter Darrow and Paige Pettit
Peter Rockefeller, HRH Crown Princess Elia of the Albanians, and Geoffrey Bradfield
Mr. Richard Aviles-Ospina and Maribel Lieberman
Ms. Christine Ammirati and Mr. Michael Marotta
His Excellency Ambassador Musy and Mrs. Deborah Bancroft
Mr. Shayne Doty and Ms. Alison Atkins Crowther
Alexandra Porter, Cody Kittle, and Mrs. Allison Rockefeller
Mrs. Carlton Rochelle Jr. and Mr. Ian Wardropper
Foundation International Committee Member Mrs. John Dorrance III and Chris Sheehan
Mrs. Barbara Tober and Mr. Dietmar Weselin
Countess de El Abra and His Imperial and Royal Highness The Archduke of Habsburg
Kate Carden, Mr. Paul Mayhugh, and Mrs. Elizabeth Stribling
The Rajkumar of Kapurthala and Mrs. John Gutfreund
Mrs. Melissa Morris
Her Imperial and Royal Highness The Archduchess of Hapsburg and Mr. Jayme Bastion Pinto
Count de Gontaut-Biron and Marquesa de San Damian
Mrs. Kari Tiedemann and Captain Merritt
Ms. Susan Caplan and Mr. Aleksandar Erdeljan
Foundation Junior Committee Director Russell Grant, Lindsay Eisenkraft, Sara Huie, and Chris Chopek
Photographs by Jay Brady & Annie Watt