Presented at Court

Does England still begin their debutante season with the debs being presented at Court?

Do they still have a debutante season?

When that tradition was in effect, if it no longer is, did a debutante have to be eighteen? Or could she be older or younger by a year or two?

I’m told that a deb could only be presented by someone (they have to be presented, not present them selves) by someone who also was. Can the presenter vouch for more than one young lady? At a time?

Do you have to submit, or simply hope to be called? If the latter, how does one get one’s name in the hat, so to speak?

Is it simply a matter of curseying once to QEII, or whoever, and then to Prince Philip, or whoever? Or is there more to it, like being screened and putting one’s name in a register?

How far back does the tradition go?

Lotta questions, I know, but this is GQ!

I’ve poked around a bit on the Royal Family’s web-page, and it looks like H.M. doesn’t do presentation parties anymore.

In the section dealing with Royal Garden Parties, there’s the following comment:

So it sounds like they’ve not had the debs curtseying to her since sometime in the 50s.

Thanks for the link, jti.

Still like to hear from anyone else who cares to comment! The last generation to have been Presented would be in their seventies now, so this may be their story-for-the-grandkids.

I’m just interested in this, not because I support the monarchy, and certainly not elitism. What fascinates me is that it’s such an old tradition, and knowing that even if it still went on today, it wouldn’t be in the same style of old. The idea that there are still people hanging on who participated in something that is no more, seems so quaint and romantic. I wonder if they were aware at the time of what a special thing they were doing. (Special in a sense of sisterhood, not snobbery.)

Let me just note that there’s still a tradition of “coming-out” parties for debutantes from high-society families in the U.S. Here’s a URL that discusses this tradition:

It may not be as important to society as it used to be, but it does still exist.

Thank you, Wendell. I know some of those things still do go on, like the Veiled Prophet Ball and the St. Cecilia Ball. Mostly in the South, natch.

Did anyone ever see a movie called Metropolitan? (Of course not; I’m the only person in history to think that that was a brilliant, priceless, wonderful film.) Anyway, there’s a scene where the funniest character is describing the International (don’t know if that still exists) in his nonchalant “U” accent. He concludes by saying, “I guess you could say it’s extremely decadent and vulgar. I like it a lot.” :smiley: