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Letter from Ms. Alicia Bryan



Benjamin Franklin at Court

Dear Friends,

I am honored and thrilled to officially accept the position of President of the American Friends of Versailles. This role carries with it a profound sense of responsibility, and I approach it with both humility and enthusiasm. Mrs. Catharine Hamilton, my distinguished predecessor, set a formidable standard, and her legacy will undoubtedly endure, bestowing the gift of French culture upon generations to come.

Each of you, as supporters of this esteemed organization, or as future contributors, possesses a unique privilege. The American Friends of Versailles has a rich history of fortifying the ties between the United States and France. Its unwavering commitment to funding restoration projects at the Palace of Versailles and its magnificent gardens is a testament to its significant impact.

My aspiration is to infuse our benefit gatherings, from engaging dinners to extended moments of historical and inspirational reflection, with a renewed sense of purpose and enjoyment. I'm confident that my life experiences have prepared me to help others deeply appreciate the treasures of Versailles, with its manifestations of the highest levels of human creativity.

"To whom much is given, much is expected." is the timeless maxim that my parents instilled in me. I view this philanthropic appointment as a calling to be a conscientious steward of the precious resources that have brought profound enjoyment to many others. Preservation of our Western world's history and its enduring beauties, ranks among my highest priorities and is surpassed only by my unyielding faith in God who has bestowed these remarkable gifts upon us.

I am eager to embark on this journey alongside all of you and to work collectively to further the mission of the American Friends of Versailles. Together, we will continue to cherish and uphold the legacy of this unparalleled cultural treasure.

In addition to heightening the awareness of the Château de Versailles in the United States, to date, the American Friends of Versailles, a 501(c)3 charitable organization, has continued to provide financial support as gifts to France from the United States, much in the same spirit as the Statue of Liberty was presented to America.  The following are the various areas in which the American Friends of Versailles has provided funding:

•    Replanting of Trees after the storm of 1999.
•    The restoration of Le Bosquet des Trois Fontaines, which had lain in ruin since the 18th century.
•    For a Pierre Arizzoli-Clémentel project, Conservator of Versailles and other French museums.
•    Cultural Seminar and Internet Project.
•    Photo and painting exhibition in Palm Beach.
•    In honor of Frank Schork, American GI who stayed in France and volunteered at Versailles.
•    The restoration of Le Pavillon Frais at Marie-Antoinette’s Petit Trianon.
•    The complete restoration of the Ceiling of La Salle des Gardes de la Reine, on main visitor’s tour
•    The planting of Virginia Tulip trees and a bench in the Bosquet de la Reine.
•    General management of the Château.

Thank you for your continued support of our international philanthropy,

Most sincerely, 

Alicia Bryan
President, The American Friends of Versailles


AFV President Alicia Bryan with Princesse Beatrice in Paris June 2023.jpg

Pictured:  SAR Princesse Béatrice de Bourbon des Deux-Siciles,  HRH Prince Charles de Bourbon des Deux-Siciles, Duke of Castro, AFV President Alicia Bryan, Co-Founder of the American Friends of Versailles Le Vicomte de Rohan, HRH Princesse Camilla Duchess of Castro, and Jérôme Plouseau, President of Societe des Amis de Versailles. June 2023 Paris.

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