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Interviews with the last debutantes

Video

Listen to some of the 1958 debutantes recount what it was like to be a 'deb'.

  1. An introduction to the last debutantes

    An introduction to the last debutantes

    Over three days in March 1958, 1,400 debutantes curtsied to The Queen at Buckingham Palace in a ceremony that had lasted more than two hundred years. Crowds of onlookers gathered outside Buckingham Palace to watch as they arrived.

    However, the last court presentations in 1958 put an end to a ritual that had survived for more than two hundred years.

    Listen here to some of the 1958 debutantes recount their experiences and memories of what it was like to be a 'deb'.

    Find out more about The last debutantes exhibition

  2. Auriol Stevens

    Auriol Stevens

    Auriol Stevens talks about gaining a university place and the general attitude held towards debutantes going to university at the time.

    Find out more about The last debutantes exhibition

  3. Cynthia Page

    Cynthia Page

    Cynthia Page talks about wearing stiletto heels and her feet hurting at the debutantes' dances.

    Find out more about The last debutantes exhibition

  4. Elfrida Fallowfield

    Elfrida Fallowfield

    Elfrida Fallowfield describes being invited to so many incredible parties and even receiving invitations to four events in the same evening!

    Find out more about The last debutantes exhibition

  5. Fiona MacCarthy

    Fiona MacCarthy

    Fiona MacCarthy talks about the debutantes and the emergence of feminist thinking in the late 1950s.

    Find out more about The last debutantes exhibition

  6. Lady Jennifer Ponte

    Lady Jennifer Ponte

    Lady Ponte talks about her delight at becoming a 'persona non grata'.

    Find out more about The last debutantes exhibition

  7. Maggie Chilton

    Maggie Chilton

    Maggie Chilton describes the correct way to formally reply to party invitations.

    Find out more about The last debutantes exhibition

  8. Melanie Black

    Melanie Black

    Melanie Black recalls dancing to the Foxtrot and Twist until early morning.

    Find out more about The last debutantes exhibition

  9. Nicholas Branch

    Nicholas Branch

    Nicholas Branch was a deb's delight, one of the young men who attended debutantes’ parties and dances.

    In his interview, he describes life after 1958.

    Find out more about The last debutantes exhibition

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