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Letter from Mrs. David R. Hamilton

Founder and Chairman Emeritus


Benjamin Franklin at Court

Chers Amis,


Almost every American who visits France will visit Versailles. More than any other secular monument outside the United States, Versailles has direct historical, political and artistic links to our country. The magic continues to captivate our imaginations. Versailles inspires the soul in all facets of the arts, architecture, gardens, fountains, paintings, sculpture, boiseries, furniture, tapestries, carpets, porcelain, fabrics, and object d’art.

My personal love affair with Versailles began when I was seventeen years old, upon my first visit. I was delighted when asked if I would become a member of the Board of Les Amis de Versailles in the early 1990’s by our good friend Le Vicomte de Rohan (Olivier). In 1997, he, my husband, David, and I were walking through the gardens when we came upon the Trois Fontaines Bosquet. It had lain in ruin since 1830 and was sad and longing to be restored. We hoped that there was perhaps some way we could help. After meeting with Hubert Astier, then President of Versailles, a seed was planted and the American Friends of Versailles was born. I founded it in 1998.

I have been inspired, humbled, and honored, and consider it a great privilege to be part of this extraordinary international endeavor. My sincere gratitude to all of the chairmen, co-chairmen, friends, hosts, supporters, contributors and to my family. Hand in hand we unite across the Atlantic in support of our allies and this great museum in true friendship.


My enduring and heartfelt appreciation to you all,


   Catharine Hamilton

Founder and Chairman Emeritus
The American Friends of Versailles

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Pictured:  David and Catharine Hamilton, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of the American Friends of Versailles in the restored Bosquet des Trois Fontaines

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Pictured: Le Vicomte de Rohan (Olivier), Président Honoraire, Société des Amis de Versailles  and Co-Founder of the American Friends of Versailles

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