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Old 09-18-2016, 02:21 AM
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The Court Presentation | Edwardian Promenade

How to Curtsey at a Court Presentation | Edwardian Promenade

An interview with Elfrida Eden Fallowfield, a debutante in 1958:
..."After the presentation at court [to the monarch], it was the next most important aspect of the Season," says Ms Fallowfield, of the Queen Charlotte's Ball. Aged 18 she was among the last debutantes to be presented at Buckingham Palace in 1958 - the year Queen Elizabeth called time on the anachronistic practice.

The aura of a closed circle jarred with the new Queen's desire for a more modern monarchy and her sister, Princess Margaret, was said to have detected a decline in the calibre of invitees. "We had to put a stop to it - every tart in London was getting in," she is said to have commented.
"The Queen Charlotte's Ball is not quite what it once was in our day," she sniffs in reverie.

"In my day it was terribly grand, held in Grosvenor House. We were taken to Madame Vacani [the royal dance instructor] to learn to curtsey. And we felt terribly grown up in our dresses. Mine was very lacy, with hundreds and hundreds of mother-of-pearl sequins."
BBC NEWS | UK | Magazine | Come on out, girls

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Old 09-18-2016, 03:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Curryong View Post
In about 1911/12 one deb became a secret suffragist and when it came time for her to be presented to King George and Queen Mary she dropped to her knees before them and began to beg for the King to use his influence on the Government to grant votes for women.

It only lasted a few moments until officials came and hauled her away, but during this her mother fainted! I suppose in theory the girl concerned had been officially presented, but I doubt she went to any occasions at BP afterwards!
Good for her! Given what some of the sufferegetes went through - poor emily davidson getting killed when she was run over by one of the royal horses at ascot and some of these women being force fed in prison to name more extreme examples, this is pretty mild and probably livened up a pretty dull afternoon at court.

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Old 09-18-2016, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Osipi View Post
To me its kind of comparable to a female slave market where the "goods" are paraded out to be claimed by men that needed a wife, hostess, mistress of the manor and baby factory for heirs. But that is a 21st century opinion. Of course it all was considered the norm back then and a young girl's dreams were to marry well. Girls also had dowries back then too to make them more "appealing" to a possible husband. Those were the good old days eh?
I did find it odd that the press still finds this all very interesting - yet none of the getty photos named all the debs (and for that matter their escorts) A handful were ID'd but I would think that if this were serious news, those young people and their families would be named. They are people - not things. Conversely, if you participate and don't want to be named - that says so much about the social custom!
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Old 09-18-2016, 08:37 PM
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The Duchess of Gloucester cut the cake.
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Old 09-18-2016, 09:25 PM
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That above clip shows the days of the proper London Season when debutantes were presented at Court before the King/Queen. Many debs who went through the Presentation didn't bother with the Queen Charlotte's Cake event, and some, who had a foreshortened Season, would just do the Queen Charlotte's charity event and not be presented at Court. It wasn't compulsory to attend both, though some did.
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Old 09-18-2016, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Prisma View Post

Wow, an 8-foot-tall cake; that's about the height of my bedroom ceiling! I don't know if I don't know if I can do a proper court curtsy; I mean I do know how to curtsy properly, don't get me wrong, but I have to hold my arms out or hold on to something if I'm in bare feet and going low, because everyone who knows me personally knows I have small, narrow feet (only a 6 US, which is the same here in Canada.) Also, what's the deal with the long trains, and the white veils and feathers?

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Old 09-18-2016, 10:42 PM
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That's Court dress, Sarah, which women used to wear on certain formal occasions at Windsor and Buckingham Palace. The feathers are called Prince of Wales plumes when they're worn at the back of the head like that in a group of three. The veils and long trains had to be a certain length, no shorter, no longer.
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Old 09-18-2016, 10:51 PM
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Every now and then Wikipedia does cough up some interesting and good information. Here's some history on the dress codes for debutantes being presented at court.ébutante_dress
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Old 09-18-2016, 11:14 PM
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More rules and info on being presented, from Edwardian times.

The Court PresentationEdwardian Promenade | Edwardian Promenade
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Old 10-10-2016, 10:23 PM
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John Grigg, 2nd Baron Altrincham, singled out the iniquity of the Palace presentation of the Debutantes. He felt the ritual should have discontinued in 1945.

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