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Debutantes dazzle in white ballgowns and glittering tiaras at Queen Charlotte’s Ball

Young debutantes put on a dazzling display at the annual Queen Charlotte’s Ball at One Whitehall Place in London last night.

The glamorous affair is renowned as the pinnacle event in the London Season, which is rich in history and was formed over two hundred years ago when the custom of returning to the capital at the end of the hunting season was celebrated with glittering balls and high society events. 

It sees young women from aristocratic, wealthy or famous families gather together to enjoy a sumptuous feast, the finest Champagne, and dancing – and with tables starting at £2,500, attendance is strictly for the well-to-do. 

The modern group of meticulously selected debutantes, aged between 17 and 20, continued the tradition and celebrated their year of charity fund raising, etiquette classes and debut at the ball, wearing white dresses from the bridal boutique Mignonette.

Young debutantes put on a dazzling display at the annual Queen Charlotte’s Ball at One Whitehall Place in London last night

The glamorous affair is renowned as the pinnacle event in the London Season, which is rich in history and was formed over two hundred years ago

The glamorous affair is renowned as the pinnacle event in the London Season, which is rich in history and was formed over two hundred years ago

The Queen Charlotte's Ball sees young women from aristocratic, wealthy or famous families gather together to enjoy a sumptuous feast, the finest Champagne, and dancing

The Queen Charlotte’s Ball sees young women from aristocratic, wealthy or famous families gather together to enjoy a sumptuous feast, the finest Champagne, and dancing

The debutantes are presented to guests and give a traditional curtsey to the Queen Charlotte Cake, which this year was by Fehmee John at BbBus

The debutantes are presented to guests and give a traditional curtsey to the Queen Charlotte Cake, which this year was by Fehmee John at BbBus

The modern group of meticulously selected debutantes, aged between 17 and 20, continued the tradition and celebrated their year of charity fund raising, etiquette classes and debut at the ball, wearing white dresses from the bridal boutique Mignonette

The modern group of meticulously selected debutantes, aged between 17 and 20, continued the tradition and celebrated their year of charity fund raising, etiquette classes and debut at the ball, wearing white dresses from the bridal boutique Mignonette

They are presented to guests and give a traditional curtsey to the Queen Charlotte Cake, which this year was by Fehmee John at BbBus. 

King George III introduced the Queen Charlotte’s Ball in 1780 to celebrate his wife’s birthday and debutantes were traditionally presented to the King or Queen.

This continued until 1958, when Prince Philip branded the event ‘bloody daft’ and Princess Margaret complained that ‘every tart in London was getting in’. 

Since 1958 the ball was held sporadically at various exclusive venues in the capital to varying degrees of success before being relaunched in 2009 and held annually since, albeit without its royal seal of approval. 

Lady Howard de Walden, followed by then editor of Tatler, Peter Townend, continued the tradition and on his death Peter nominated former debutantes Jennie Hallam-Peel and Patricia Woodall to take over running of The London Season. 

King George III introduced the Queen Charlotte's Ball in 1780 to celebrate his wife's birthday and debutantes were traditionally presented to the King or Queen

King George III introduced the Queen Charlotte’s Ball in 1780 to celebrate his wife’s birthday and debutantes were traditionally presented to the King or Queen

The tradition of presenting the debutantes to the King or Queen at Buckingham Palace continued until 1958, when Prince Philip branded the event 'bloody daft' and Princess Margaret complained that 'every tart in London was getting in'

The tradition of presenting the debutantes to the King or Queen at Buckingham Palace continued until 1958, when Prince Philip branded the event ‘bloody daft’ and Princess Margaret complained that ‘every tart in London was getting in’ 

Since 1958 the ball was held sporadically at various exclusive venues in the capital to varying degrees of success before being relaunched in 2009 and held annually since, albeit without its royal seal of approval

Since 1958 the ball was held sporadically at various exclusive venues in the capital to varying degrees of success before being relaunched in 2009 and held annually since, albeit without its royal seal of approval

The young ladies, usually aged between 17 and 20 attend the grand ball, wearing gowns by Mignonette, where they are presented to guests and curtsey to the Queen Charlotte Cake

The young ladies, usually aged between 17 and 20 attend the grand ball, wearing gowns by Mignonette, where they are presented to guests and curtsey to the Queen Charlotte Cake

The young ladies, usually aged between 17 and 20 attend the grand ball, wearing gowns by Mignonette, where they are presented to guests and curtsey to the Queen Charlotte Cake

Debutantes attended the Queen Charlotte's Ball 2021 at One Whitehall Place last night wearing white gowns and glittering jewellery

Debutantes attended the Queen Charlotte’s Ball 2021 at One Whitehall Place last night wearing white gowns and glittering jewellery

The London Season is rich in history and was formed over two hundred years ago when the custom of returning to London at the end of the hunting season was celebrated with glittering balls and high society events

The London Season is rich in history and was formed over two hundred years ago when the custom of returning to London at the end of the hunting season was celebrated with glittering balls and high society events

The modern group of meticulously selected debutantes continue the tradition and celebrate their year of charity fund raising, etiquette classes and debut at The Queen Charlotte's Ball

The modern group of meticulously selected debutantes continue the tradition and celebrate their year of charity fund raising, etiquette classes and debut at The Queen Charlotte’s Ball

It is now focussed on raising money for children in need worldwide and the Queen Charlotte’s Ball has been held in Shanghai and Dubai as well as various grand venues in London. 

The London Season runs for six months of the year including sporting events, cocktail parties, dances and concerts and the Ball is the pinnacle of this season. 

Each debutante will have been selected – and paid thousands of pounds – for the privilege of taking months of etiquette classes and dabbling in carefully chosen charity projects.

Prior to the event, older debutantes are on hand to guide and critique the girls on their dress, dancing and pace around the ballroom. On the day itself, an army of professional hair and make-up artists are on hand to make sure that the girls are glowing, setting off perfectly coiffed up ‘dos with diamond studded tiaras and precious jewellery.

The ‘deb of the year’ is chosen according to ‘who has worked hardest’ during fund-raising activities throughout the season and shown the most enthusiasm.

After the ceremony the ladies are allowed to change into a dress of their choosing for the after party – with most years leading to tales of debauchery and behaviour most unfitting for a lady. 

Each debutante will have been selected - and paid thousands of pounds - for the privilege of taking months of etiquette classes and dabbling in carefully chosen charity projects

Each debutante will have been selected – and paid thousands of pounds – for the privilege of taking months of etiquette classes and dabbling in carefully chosen charity projects

Prior to the event, older debutantes are on hand to guide and critique the girls on their dress, dancing and pace around the ballroom

Prior to the event, older debutantes are on hand to guide and critique the girls on their dress, dancing and pace around the ballroom

The 'deb of the year' is chosen according to 'who has worked hardest’ during fund-raising activities throughout the season and shown the most enthusiasm (pictured with the cake)

The ‘deb of the year’ is chosen according to ‘who has worked hardest’ during fund-raising activities throughout the season and shown the most enthusiasm (pictured with the cake)

Many of the debutantes sported flowing lace gowns and wore extravagant jewellery, tiaras and immaculate hair and make-up

Many of the debutantes sported flowing lace gowns and wore extravagant jewellery, tiaras and immaculate hair and make-up

Many of the debutantes sported flowing lace gowns and wore extravagant jewellery, tiaras and immaculate hair and make-up

On the day itself, an army of professional hair and make-up artists are on hand to make sure that the girls are glowing, setting off perfectly coiffed up 'dos with diamond studded tiaras and precious jewellery

On the day itself, an army of professional hair and make-up artists are on hand to make sure that the girls are glowing, setting off perfectly coiffed up ‘dos with diamond studded tiaras and precious jewellery

With tables starting at £2,500 and run by a partnership of corporate sponsors and companies, attendance is strictly for the well-to-do, with many traditionalists bemoaning the loss of the balls genteel and refined roots

With tables starting at £2,500 and run by a partnership of corporate sponsors and companies, attendance is strictly for the well-to-do, with many traditionalists bemoaning the loss of the balls genteel and refined roots

Debutantes at the Queen Charlotte's Ball last night sit together ahead of the presentation ceremony where they curtsy to a cake

Debutantes at the Queen Charlotte’s Ball last night sit together ahead of the presentation ceremony where they curtsy to a cake

An army of debutantes, clad in designer white bridal dresses, stand on the staircase at One Whitehall Place last night

An army of debutantes, clad in designer white bridal dresses, stand on the staircase at One Whitehall Place last night

Debutantes were joined by the partners and parents at the traditional event last night which has been going for around 200 years

Debutantes were joined by the partners and parents at the traditional event last night which has been going for around 200 years

Debutantes were joined by the partners and parents at the traditional event last night which has been going for around 200 years

The spectacular Queen Charlotte Cake was this year designed and made by Fehmee John at BbBus. The original Queen Charlotte’s Ball tradition began in May 1780. The event was held to mark the birthday of Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III. She stood next to a huge birthday cake, and the debutantes in attendance curtseyed to her

The spectacular Queen Charlotte Cake was this year designed and made by Fehmee John at BbBus. The original Queen Charlotte’s Ball tradition began in May 1780. The event was held to mark the birthday of Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III. She stood next to a huge birthday cake, and the debutantes in attendance curtseyed to her

For years after Queen Charlotte’s death, British royals carried on the tradition of hosting the ball, which continued to have a large birthday cake as its centerpiece

For years after Queen Charlotte’s death, British royals carried on the tradition of hosting the ball, which continued to have a large birthday cake as its centerpiece

Debutantes at the Queen Charlotte's Ball 2021 at One Whitehall Place are presented by their parents who have paid thousands for a ticket

Debutantes at the Queen Charlotte’s Ball 2021 at One Whitehall Place are presented by their parents who have paid thousands for a ticket

The bigger the better! A sea of debutantes sit socially distanced in their elaborate white dresses by bridal boutique Mignonette

The bigger the better! A sea of debutantes sit socially distanced in their elaborate white dresses by bridal boutique Mignonette

Debutantes dazzle in white ballgowns and glittering tiaras at Queen Charlotte's Ball

The glamorous debutantes stand or perch poised amid their flowing skirts in the elegant One Whitehall Place in London

The glamorous debutantes stand or perch poised amid their flowing skirts in the elegant One Whitehall Place in London

The debutantes pose on the stairs at, One Whitehall Place at The Royal Horseguards Hotel is one of London's most prestigious and majestic event venues

The debutantes pose on the stairs at, One Whitehall Place at The Royal Horseguards Hotel is one of London’s most prestigious and majestic event venues

No expense spared! The debutantes in attendance last night were dripping in extravagant necklaces, earrings and accessories

No expense spared! The debutantes in attendance last night were dripping in extravagant necklaces, earrings and accessories

No expense spared! The debutantes in attendance last night were dripping in extravagant necklaces, earrings and accessories

The event is the highlight of the annual London society calendar and sees the young ladies, pictured, introduced to society

The event is the highlight of the annual London society calendar and sees the young ladies, pictured, introduced to society

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