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The American Friends of Versailles held a Gala Ball and Dinner at the Grand Trianon in the Versailles gardens.

The American Friends of Versailles celebrated their 25th anniversary with a full weekend of events in Paris which helped raise funds for restoration projects at the palace and its gardens. A capstone of the session was a gala ball held in the marble corridors of the Grand Trianon in the Versailles gardens.

Built by Louis XIV as an elegant retreat apart from the strict etiquette of the Court, the Trianon was a lavish setting for AFV cocktails, dinner, fireworks, and dancing.

Ball guests Maria Manetti Shrem and Elizabeth Segerstrom arrived through golden gates to the Grand Trianon within the Gardens of Versailles.
AFV Directors Bonnie Deutsch, Chicago, IL, and Phillip Hartung, Cape Coral, Florida.
L. to r.: Mr. and Mrs. Alan (Sallymoon) Bentz, Houston,TX; Monsieur and Madame Jean de Panafieu, Paris.
Elizabeth Parker Crow, Augusta Crow, and Keith Crow, Chicago, IL.
L. to r.: AFV Directors Mr. and Mrs. John (Karen) Krehbiel, Chicago, IL; Eloise and JP Haynes with AFV President Alicia Bryan, Texas.
L. to r.: AFV Directors Dr. Susan Kendall and Sir Richard Hitt, Chantilly, France and Orange County, CA; Mr. and Mrs. Greg Rohan, Dallas, TX.
L. to r.: Christophe Caramelle nd Jerome Plouseau, Paris; Cindy, Will, and Steffi Galvin, Winnetka IL.

Along with dignitaries AFV Founder Catharine Hamilton, US Ambassador Denise Bauer, Honorary Board Chairman the Vicomte de Rohan, French Board Directors Princesse Beatrice de Bourbon des Deux-Siciles, Anne-Marie de Ganay, Michele Fieschi-Fouan, Pilar and Juan Pablo Molyneux, guests gathered from New York, Chicago, Washington, DC, Florida, Iowa, California, Illinois, Indiana, London, and Switzerland enjoying garden views through the terrace’s marble arches.

Greeting old and new friends.
L. to r.: Andre Michaels from Zurich with Princesse Beatrice; US Ambassador to France Denise Bauer.
Cocktails were served on the marble terrace.
L. to r.: AFV Director Juan Pablo Molyneux, Paris, AFV Director Faith Collidge, New York, NY, and AVF Honorary Chairman the Vicomte de Rohan, Paris; Maurice Blaber, London and Kasia McCormick, New York, NY.
Nicholas DuBrul, New York, NY, with Thomas Bidie, Switzerland.
L. to r.: Mr.and Mrs. Ian (Laura) Tobin, Aspen, CO and Naples, FL; Mr. and Mrs. Dean (Allyson) Rogers, Santa Fe, NM.
A band performed on the marble terrace.
Mr. and Mrs. David (Cindy) Galvin and Kim Moore, Chicago, IL.
L. to r.: Mr. and Mrs. Allan (Kathryn) Hubbard, Indianapolis, IN; Mr. Peeter and Dr. Jennifer Goldman, Chicago, IL.
AFV Director Jonathan Marder; Katherine Bryan, New York, Palm Beach, Paris; Susan Gutfreund, New York, NY; and Carl Bolch, Atlanta, GA.

Marie Antoinette may have preferred simple muslin dresses when she acted out being a milkmaid at the charming Hameau de la Reine she created played near the Palace, but the ball guests wore gowns inspired by her more formal regal finery.

L. to r.: Actress Gabrielle DuBrul, New York, NY; Katherine Bryan.
L. to r.: Grimanesa Amorós, New York, NY; AFV French Director Michele Fiesci Fouan, Paris.
L. to r.: AFV International Council Member Katherine Harris, Sarasota, FL; Maria Manetti Shrem, San Francisco, CA.
L. to r.: Philanthropist Barbara Tober, New York, NY; Mary Carrington, San Antonio, TX.
L. to r.: Elennie Bixler, Chicago, IL; Irene Hunter, Santa Barbara, CA.
L. to r.: Ballerina Christina Lyon, London; Sisters Renee Holman, Amarillo, TX and Raylene Elmore, Nashville, TN.
L. to r.: Jewelry designer Maja DuBrul, New York, NY; Fashion designer Fiona Cibani, San Francisco, CA.
L. to r.: Marta Dedvukaj, New York, NY; Mrs. Andrea Waraich, Toronto.
L. to r.: Kasia McCormick with AFV Executive Director Kristin Smith, Chicago, IL; Anne Lantry, Washington DC and Katherine Bryan.
L. to r.: AFV International Council Member Sharon Hoge, New York, NY; Kaila Brinkman, TX.
L. to r.: Kim Moore and Katie Galvin, Chicago, IL; Shammiel Fleischer Amoros, New York, NY.
L. to r.: Kathryn Hubbard, Indianapolis, IN; Maureen Tobin, Ames, IA and Irene Hunter, Santa Barbara, CA.
L. to r.: Eloise Haynes, San Antonio, TX; Genevieve Antonow, Chicago, IL.

After cocktails, dinner guests proceeded through an enfilade of period rooms to the Galerie de Corelle for an elaborate meal with toasts and lively conversation. Following dessert a gala concert of fireworks lit up the Trianon gardens followed by dancing well into the night.

Architecture historian Barry Goldsmith, New York, NY, passing through the period rooms on the way to dinner.
Guests were seated at one long table in the Galerie des Cortelle which is lined with pictures of the garden bosquets.
Colorful mini bouquets lined the table. Inset: The seafood salad was presented atop a lobster stenciled on each plate.
Greetings from Catherine Pégard, President of the Chateau de Versailles.
L. to r.: Close friend Marianne de Edwards toasted AFV President Catharine Hamilton; AFV French Director Anne-Marie de Ganay.
Cynthia Fisher, Boston, MA, and concert pianist Andrew von Oeyen.
L. to r.: David Galvin, Chicago IL; Elizabeth Segerstrom, Orange County, CA and New York, NY, with AFV President Catharine Hamilton.
Greg Rohan, Dallas, TX; AFV Director Michele Fiesci Fouan, Paris; and Allan Pollack, CA.
L. to r.: Allan Pollack; Nora Amey, Chicago, IL.
L. to r.: Yue Sai Kan, New York, NY; Greg Rohan.
Allyson Rogers, Santa Fe, NM, with Aigle Arend Hasper, Paris.
L. to r.: Thomas Bidie, Rotkreutz-Zug, Switzerland; Gail Arnold, Washington, DC.
L. to r.: Marjorie Vickers, Vail, CO; Allison Lisk, Minneapolis, MN.
L. to r.: Jerome Plouseau, President Les Amis de Versailles; Mark Amey, Chicago, IL.
Dessert was presented in a grand parade.
Sipping champagne while awaiting the fireworks.
A concert of fireworks lit up a dazzling evening.
Post-fireworks dancing on the terrace concluded the evening.

Scheduled for next spring, the American Friends of Versailles are planning ”Le Gala des Fleurs d’Oranger,” May 31-June 3, 2024, a Reception in the historic Hall of Mirrors followed by a Seated Dinner in the Chateau Orangerie, along with Cocktail Receptions in the Hotel de Soubis and in a private Marias Hotel de Ville and a Picnic at the Pavillon Frais within the Versailles Gardens.

Part II, BEYOND THE BALL, coming Friday

PHOTO CREDITS: Francis Hammond, Sharon King Hoge, Michele Fieschi-Fouan, Kristin Smith

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