Being a debutante is a truly wonderful experience and certainly one I’ll never forget. The highlight for both parents and debs alike is of course the magnificent Queen Charlotte’s Ball. The event has a history stretching back hundreds of years to when King George III first instated the ball to honour his wife, Queen Charlotte. The ball has long been associated with debutantes being presented to royalty. Staying true to tradition my fellow debutantes and I were provided with the most exquisite white bridal gowns from the wedding dress and evening gown company Pronovias. I fell in love with my dress the moment I tried it on at my fitting at the Bond Street store, and must admit I gave it up quite unwillingly at the end of the night!

In preparation for the ball, held at the stunning Inner Temple Treasury House, we partook in a day of rehearsals beforehand, followed by more nervous preparation on the day. We were pampered by a team led by Claire Hanson so that our make up, nails and hair were all beautiful. Having been helped into our dresses we were then decked in bedazzling Mikimoto jewellery. Each set was chosen to work with the girl and dress and I think each girl was in love with the jewellery picked for her. I certainly adored my rose blossom inspired earrings and necklace with pearls, diamonds and pink sapphires.

Whilst we anxiously but excitedly waited for our turn in the procession, guests were treated to a champagne reception greeted by HRH Princess Katarina of Yugoslavia, HH Princess Olga Romanov and Their Graces The Duke and Duchess of Somerset. The event was kindly sponsored by Maserati GB and its London retailer HR OWEN Sports Cars.

Following a march by the Jive Aces and the entrance of the guests of honour, my fellow debutantes and I processed in to a beautiful rendition of Puccini’s O mio babbino caro from Zoe Turner. A stunning piece of music which I know brought a tear to my father’s eye! The famous cake is a replica of the birthday cake of Queen Charlotte herself, and was just gorgeous. London Season Chairman Mrs David Hallam-Peel and Vice Chairman Mrs Jonathan Woodall spoke and announced the Deb of the Year, who I was delighted for as she is the most graceful, lovely girl.

Guests and debutantes alike dined on a simply delicious meal and a fabulous auction took place with lots such as Mikimoto jewellery, art work from Broad Gallery and one gorgeous unique handbag from Clive Christian.

To the sound of the wonderful Jive Aces the dancing began with a father daughter dance.
I made some great friends throughout the Season, helped raise money for charities Veterans Aid, Help For Heroes and The Smile Train, gained new skills and grew a lot in confidence and as a young lady. The evening of the Queen Charlotte’s Ball was an amazing experience and the perfect finale to a wonderful year.
Next week it will be the turn of the debutantes of 2011 to come out at the Queen Charlotte’s Ball and I am so looking forward to the event.

Blog post by Florrie Clarke, debutante of 2010. Photographs kindly provided by Mike Daines at Photocall Events.

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