Young debutantes put on a charming display in a sea of white ballgowns as they attended the annual Queen Charlotte’s ball in Maidstone.
The affluent young women were joined by their partners and parents as they made their society debut in the grand setting of Boughton Monchelsea Place.
And while today’s venue was filled with pomp and splendor the girls’ transport wasn’t quite as luxurious.
Debutantes drink champagne at Leeds Castle during the Queen Charlotte’s Ball on September 9, 2017 in Maidstone, Kent
Debutantes were pictured sitting at tables laid with cakes and sandwiches on the top deck of a Routemaster bus before leaving Boughton Monchelsea Place for the Queen Charlotte’s Ball on Saturday.
The pinnacle event in the London Season, the ball 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.
In 1780 the first debutante’s Ball was held by King George III to celebrate the birthday of his wife Queen Charlotte and raised money for a maternity hospital.
Debutante Amira Rayner, 19, from Kent prepares at Boughton Monchelsea Place ahead of the Queen Charlotte’s Ball
In 1780 the first debutante’s Ball was held by King George III to celebrate the birthday of his wife Queen Charlotte and raised money for a maternity hospital
Debutantes sit at tables laid with cakes and sandwiches on the top deck of a Routemaster bus before leaving Boughton Monchelsea Place for the Queen Charlotte’s Ball
Society girls were presented to the monarch and it became an annual event and important as a marriage market for the upper echelons of society.
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.
After the present Queen terminated the practice of introducing debutantes at royal garden parties in 1957, 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.
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.
This year the debutantes’ gowns have been supplied by Berketex Brides and the cake, to which the debutantes curtsey, is made by Pretty Gorgeous Cakes.
Former debutante Charlotte Wotner, 48, (left) poses with her daughter Eliza Lewis, 17, who was named Debutante of the Year (right) at Leeds Castle during the Queen Charlotte’s Ball
Eliza Lewis, 17, from Kent, who was named Debutante of the Year cuts the cake with a sword at Leeds Castle
The debutantes prepare ahead of the Queen Charlotte’s Ball Boughton Monchelsea Place
Jiabao Cui, 24, from Bejing, poses at Boughton Monchelsea Place ahead of the debutants ball
Shristi Mishra, 16, from London applies make up in a bedroom at Boughton Monchelsea Place
From left to right: Lauren Evans, 27, Amira Rayner, 19 and Eliza Lewis, 17 prepare for the ball
Debutante Carolina Lanz, 16, (right) adjusts the dress of Shrishti Mishra, 16 (left) at Leeds Castle
Cerys Walker, 18 from Cheshire, arrives at Leeds Castle for the ball
Proving they’re still modern girls, the debutantes take pictures on their smart phones ahead of the ball
Fine dining! The debutantes and their escorts prepare to sit down for dinner at Leeds Castle
Debutante Eliza Lewis, 17, from Kent, applies make-up in a bedroom at Boughton Monchelsea Place
Finishing touches! Debutantes prepare to leave Boughton Monchelsea Place ahead of the ball
Picture perfect! The debutantes stare into the grounds of Leeds Castle as they await the ball
Olivia Mott, 20 from Charlottesville, Virginia, makes her way down the stairs at Boughton Monchelsea Place
Arriving on covered golf buggies, the debutantes arrive at Leeds Castle for the Queen Charlottes Ball
Guests take pictures and look on as debutantes arrive at Leeds Castle during the Queen Charlotte’s Ball
A debutante practices her dip curtsy while another girl looks on at Boughton Monchelsea Place
Debutante Annie Ding, 20 from Hong Kong, looks at her reflection in a mirror at Boughton Monchelsea Place
Debutante Fatima Khan, 19, from Buckinghamshire poses by a window at Leeds Castle during the Queen Charlotte’s Ball
Debutantes Annie Ding, 20 from Hong Kong (right) and Jiabao Cui, 24, from Beijing (left) apply makeup