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Hermoine To Set Sail: Ségolène Royal & Bertrand Lortholary Celebrate The Launch

Lee Fryd

Ségolène Royal's remarks bring rounds of appplause as Bertrand Lortholary looks on. (Photo: Max Lakner/BFAnyc.com)

Francophiles rejoice. In just one year, you will be able to exclaim, "Le Hermione et arrive!" This replica of the Tall Ship which Lafayette commandeered to America in 1780 to support the American Revolutionary War will recreate that trip next year. The project was conceived 20 years ago. Bertrand Lortholary, Consul General of France, honored Madame Ségolène Royal, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, former Socialist candidate in the 2007 French presidential elections, and mother of current French President Francois Hollande's four children, at a cocktail party for Friends of Hermione - Lafayette in America, at the Consulate General of France.

The party was a pre-gala soiree for the October 14, 2014, event on the Intrepid honoring Henry Kissinger, Charlie Rose, and Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Charlotte Sarkozy, Catherine Godbille, and Pascale Richard at the pre-gala fete. (Photo: Max Lakner/BFAnyc.com)

The project has taken a bite out of Pascale Richard's Hamptons summer. The Director of Education, Exhibitions & Cultural Programs for the Friends of Hermione, and Director of Culture Events at the French Lycée NY, told us she has owned a home in Bridgehampton for the past 17 years. Here, she said, "My main occupation is swimming in the ocean and seeing my friends."

The Hermione sets sail to the United States in summer 2015, making landfall at Yorktown and then sailing up the coast to Mount Vernon, Alexandria/Washington DC., Annapolis, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, Greenport, Newport, Castine, Maine, and then on to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia before heading home to France.

"This is an historical event," Richard told us. "The Hermione will be in New York on the 4th of July 2015. It took 15 yard to rebuild his frigate. It's also a project about the Franco American relationship and the historical ties between our two counties throughout the history of Lafayette who was a great friend of America. This will help support the trip and an educational project around it, cultural school exchange as well as founding a curriculum around Lafayette and the war of independence.

The scale model of L'Hermione was the centerpiece for the party. L'Hermione

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