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  • Versailles, Kings, Queens and Presidents

    Soon

    Versailles is synonymous with politics and power. The protocol followed by current State visits mirrors the influence and omnipotence of the Sun King, Louis XIV,and France in the 17th century. He built the Château as a sign of his power, inviting those most influential at the time into his palace – the space he created and dominated.

Spring 2014 and the Chinese President, Xi Jinping is on his first state visit to Paris. Three days later and contracts to the value of 18 billion Euros signed, François Hollande invites his guest to a private dinner at the Château of Versailles. Alain Ducasse, internationally renowned chef prepares the meal.

Versailles is synonymous with politics and power. The protocol followed by current State visits mirrors the influence and omnipotence of the Sun King, Louis XIV,and France in the 17th century. He built the Château as a sign of his power, inviting those most influential at the time into his palace – the space he created and dominated.

While the French monarchy has long-since disappeared, overturned by the Revolution, republican France is still installed with the traditions of the « old regime », living within the old shadows of the King. Dinner at Versailles with a head of State is still one of the greatest honours the Republic can bestow on a guest.

In 1961 General de Gaulle invited the Kennedys for a gala dinner in the Hall of Mirrors – and since then the list of guests is long : Ronald Reagan, Helmut Schmidt and Margaret Thatcher dine with François Mitterrand in 1982. Hiro Hito, Emperor of Japan ; Nikita Khruschev and his wife ; Queen Elizabeth ; the Shah of Iran and his wife the Shahbanou Farah Diba … not to omit the more questionable leaders, such as Colonel Khadafi or Nicolai Ceausescu. They were all invited to sit at the Presidential table at Versailles.

Experiencing the Château and its gardens through the eyes of these powerful hosts and the guests that were welcomed there is at the heart of this unique documentary. It will build on the archives of these grandiose events, demonstrating that even three centuries after the death of Louis XIV, Versailles remains a seat of power, with its influence and splendour felt way beyond France’s own borders.

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