Debutantes curtsey to an 8-foot cake at Queen Charlotte’s Ball, an exclusive event reportedly branded ‘bloody daft’ by Prince Philip

Out of over 150 applicants, only 22 were selected to be a debutante in Queen Charlotte’s Ball 2021.
Kate Green/Getty Images

On Sunday, 22 debutantes made their London society debut at Queen Charlotte’s Ball.
Founded in 1780, the event oozes tradition and debutantes curtsey to an 8-foot cake.
Not everyone has been a fan of the exclusive event – Prince Philip reportedly once dubbed it “bloody daft.”
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Queen Charlotte’s Ball, an event steeped in over two hundred years worth of history, debuted 22 new debutantes on Sunday.

The debutantes wore white couture ball gowns, provided to them on a complimentary basis.
Kate Green/Getty Images

Source: The London Season
Once the “most important ball of the social calendar,” the annual event took place at One Whitehall Place, a “prestigious” wedding venue along the River Thames.

The London Season has a “very rich history.”
Kate Green/Getty Images

Source: The London Season
The ball is hosted by The London Season, a non-profit, in partnership with Harrods. Each debutante gets a complimentary white couture gown, jewelry, and hairdressing on the big day.

Another plus is the free transport.
Kate Green/Getty Images

Source: The London Season
But the glitz and glam comes with decades of history – the ball was founded in 1780 by King George III in honor of his wife Queen Charlotte and was customarily held at the “end of hunting season.”

King George III first launched the ball to raise money for a new maternity hospital.
Kate Green/Getty Images

Source: The London Season
For over a hundred years, debutantes attending the ball were introduced to society in front of the reigning monarch.

Debutantes entered into society with a formal introduction with the reigning British monarch at the ages of 17 and 18.
Kate Green/Getty Images

Source: The London Season
However, Queen Elizabeth II put an end to this tradition in 1957 as “the social parameters” for what the season “stood for were being eroded.”

After World War II, society balls seemingly went out of style.
Kate Green/Getty Images

Source: The London Season
Her decision to step back from the ball may have something to do with Prince Philip’s opinion – according to The Guardian, he once called the event “bloody daft.”

It’s safe to say Prince Philip wasn’t a fan.
Kate Green/Getty Images

Source: The Guardian
With no monarch to curtsey to, debutantes now do so in front of something slightly different: an eight-foot cake baked in honor of Queen Charlotte.

For this year’s ball, the cake was baked by Fehmee John.
Kate Green/Getty Images.

Source: The London Season
A representative for the London Season told Insider that they still get over 150 debutante applications each year.

It appears Queen Charlotte’s Ball is still in vogue.
Kate Green/Getty Images

Jennie Hallam-Peel, a fourth-generation debutante who interviews debutantes for a place at the ball, said they choose girls who are “career-focused” and “show a desire to help the charity each year.”

Debutantes gather around the impressive eight-foot cake in honor of Queen Charlotte.
Kate Green/Getty Images

Before the ball took place, debutantes raised funds for The Honeypot, the charity supported by the London Society, in a variety of ways including baking, an art auction, and a charity walk.

Out of the 22 debutantes selected for this year’s ball, some raised money for charity through art auctions and bake sales.
Kate Green/Getty Images

Source: The London Season
Even though more than 200 years have passed since the ball first started, it’s still an exclusive event – according to Hallam-Peel, personal invitations are sent out and debutantes can only be escorted by their siblings or men from “former debutante families.”

Unless you’re personally invited, entry to Queen Charlotte’s Ball is prohibited.
Kate Green/Getty Images

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