FODC Celebrates the Duke d’Aumale at the Palais-Royal

On September 21, 2022, the Friends of the Domaine de Chantilly (FODC) celebrated the 200th anniversary of the birth of Henri d’Orléans, Duke d’Aumale, in style at the Palais-Royal in Paris. A special dinner was held in the historic rooms of the Ministry of Culture under the high patronage of Rima Abdul Malak, Minister of Culture, and presided by Prince Amyn Aga Khan, FODC Chairman. It was a truly exceptional event as these beautiful spaces – former apartments of Queen Marie-Amélie, the Duke d’Aumale’s mother, during the 19th century – are generally used for ceremonies and rarely for festive dinners. 

Upon arrival, guests enjoyed a cocktail reception in the Salon Jérôme. While sipping delicious champagne generously provided by Champagne Laurent-Perrier, they admired the magnificent room named after Prince Jérôme, Emperor Napoléon’s younger brother, which was initially King Louis-Philippe and Queen Marie-Amélie’s bedchamber during the July Monarchy. Everyone was also able to take in breathtaking views over the Palais-Royal gardens from the balcony.

Dr. Susan Kendall, Sir Richard Hitt, Vicomte de Rohan, Michèle Ravery
Pavel Smutný, Edgar Batista, S.A.R. la Princesse Béatrice de Bourbon des Deux-Siciles, Jaromír Císař

After the delightful cocktail hour, guests were invited into the Salon des Maréchaux, also called the Grand Salon. This stunning room had been completely renovated by the Ministry of Culture in the 1990s based on a drawing from Queen Marie-Amélie’s era, which showed how it had been decorated.

Once everyone was seated, Prince Amyn took to the podium to express his gratitude to all of the guests for their enthusiasm and support of Chantilly. He was especially happy to be reunited in person with the “Friends” and be able to commemorate the Duke d’Aumale’s birth at the very place where he was born. He also praised the Board members whose dedication over the years has been the cornerstone of the organization.

Xavier Darcos, Chancellor of the Institut de France, applauded Prince Amyn’s longtime devotion to Chantilly – which was quickly shared by all those in attendance – and stated his optimism for the future of this extraordinary Domaine. He affirmed the Institut’s strong desire to contribute to Chantilly’s future development and also thanked the Friends of the Domaine de Chantilly for their efforts.

Finally, Mathieu Deldicque, who was recently appointed as the Director of the Musée Condé, spoke with excitement about Chantilly’s current and upcoming projects, including exhibitions on Ingres and Boulle as well as renovations of the Logis Galleries and the Cabinet des Livres. He reiterated many times his deep appreciation for the support received from FODC for these and other initiatives.

After these uplifting words, a sumptuous dinner was served by the Maison Lenôtre, accompanied by fabulous wines donated by Château Canon and Domaine du Pélican. Beautiful, floral centerpieces created by Estelle Perrone were arranged on a powdery blue tablecloth that matched the curtains hanging on the walls. The atmosphere was elegant yet intimate. At the conclusion of this exceptional dinner at the Palais-Royal, guests departed with flower bouquets in hand and a memorable evening in mind.

Ed Daughney, Betty Eveillard, Prince Amyn Aga Khan, Sophie North

The Friends of the Domaine de Chantilly would like to thank everyone who made this evening possible, in particular: Rima Abdul Malak and the Ministry of Culture; FODC’s Board of Directors; and our partners and sponsors Château de Chantilly, Maison Lenôtre, Champagne Laurent-Perrier, Château Canon and Domaine du Pélican.

We are also delighted to announce that we will resume our annual Gala Dinners at the Château de Chantilly next year. Please save the date!

Marie-Pierre Dion, Nicole Garnier, Xavier Darcos
Baptiste Roelly, Nicole Garnier, Renaud Final de Villaine, Marina de Charette de La Contrie, Manuela Finaz de Villaine

(c) Friends of the Domaine de Chantilly (c) photographer Bruno Cohen