Director of Media Relations
“. . . A Country to which I shall ever feel a Warm Affection.”
-George Washington to Marquis de Lafayette about France, April 5, 1783
MOUNT VERNON, VA – The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association (MVLA) welcomed President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, and Emmanuel Macron, the President of the French Republic, and his wife, Brigitte, for a private tour and dinner at George Washington’s Mount Vernon on Monday, April 23, 2018.
The group arrived by helicopter and received a tour of the grounds and Mansion led by Mount Vernon Regent Sarah Miller Coulson and President and CEO Doug Bradburn. They briefly viewed Washington’s upper garden and greenhouse before moving into the Mansion. While in the Mansion, the group inspected the key to the Bastille, a gift to Washington from the Marquis de Lafayette as a symbol of freedom following the storming of the notorious prison. The two presidents each received a replica Bastille key, housed in a wooden box made from walnut wood used in the Mansion with an inlay of pecan from a tree planted near the Mansion circa 1848. Steel from the aircraft carrier USS George Washington was used in the production of this treasured replica.
The couples toured several of the Mansion’s rooms and were particularly inspired to see the Washingtons’ bedroom, which features the bed in which George Washington died.
“The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association preserves the house to the highest standards and welcomes everyone here to be inspired by the example of the father of our country,” said Coulson. “We are always happy to extend the famous Washington hospitality to the President of the United States and visiting dignitaries from around the world.”
Following the couples’ dinner, the group paid tribute to George Washington by placing a wreath quietly at the tomb of the Washingtons.
“The relationship between the American people and the people of France was forged by George Washington at the birth of our country,” said Bradburn. “And it is wonderful that the President and the First Lady wanted to use the symbolism of this important place to reemphasize the importance of our long friendship and alliance, at an extremely important time for U.S.-European relations.”
The MVLA has a long history of welcoming presidents, visiting dignitaries, VIPs, and foreign heads of state from all political backgrounds to the home of George Washington. With this historic visit, Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron join a long and distinguished list of notable French visitors to Mount Vernon, from the Marquis de Lafayette to General Charles de Gaulle to President Nicolas Sarkozy. For more details about past presidential tours of Mount Vernon, please visit www.mountvernon.org/presidents. For a complete list of high profile French visitors to Mount Vernon, please visit www.mountvernon.org/frenchvisitors.
George Washington’s Mount Vernon is privately owned and operated by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association– the country’s oldest historic preservation organization. As a private not-for-profit and nonpartisan organization, the MVLA’s mission is to preserve George Washington’s home to the highest standards and to educate visitors and people around the world so that his legacy continues to inspire future generations. Mount Vernon does not accept government funding and instead relies upon donations and ticket revenue to support its operations.