Gawk at the Opulence of the Fanciest Debutante Ball Ever


Late last week, the who’s-who of socialites attended Queen Charlotte’s Ball at the Royal Courts of Justice, which was at one point the most important event of the London Season. Young women ages 17 to 20 from around the world got all dolled up and spend thousands on a ticket to do what women do best: look and act nice.

Queen Charlotte’s Ball was started in 1780 by King George III celebrate her birthday, and it went on annually until the mid 1970s, when it stopped “amid rumours of drug-taking and general ‘loucheness,'” reports the Telegraph (sounds like the 70s. Also sounds like a good time.).

But in 2007, Jenny Hallam-Peel, who runs The London Season, a company that runs special parties for “members of the social elite” in countries around the world, was asked by Tatler magazine’s former social editor to start it up again, allegedly on his death bed. Clearly, the man was desperate for some genteel society gossip.

Hallam-Peel says that now, the event is about raising money for charity and adding a line to resumes of these young women. Also for taking selfies.

Everyone gets a tiara.

Despite how long it’s been going on, the ball, seen here in 1950, has always looked pretty much the same: lots of pretty people looking pretty.

The Daily Mail writes that the debs used to be presented to the Queen each year, until Prince Philip said it was “bloody daft.” There’s a reason he’s every sane person’s favorite (or only tolerable) member of the royal family.

Images via Christopher Furlong & Keystone/Getty

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin