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London's debutantes

Debutantes attend a dress-fitting in Kensington, London's most exclusive shopping district. In the past, the ball was an opportunity to introduce noble daughters to high society and show them off to potential suitors.

Debutante Amelia Simmons during hair and make-up preparations.

Debutante Alice Palmer watches as Ella Venables rehearses for the ball.

Dress designer Dana Kruszynska chooses dresses for the young women.

A debutante listens to instructions about deportment.

Dress designer Dana Kruszynska examines the lace work on one of her designs.

Debutantes rehearse in the ballroom. The girls make a grand entrance walking in one by one and are judged on their posture, elegance and pace.

Debutantes Sophie Bonello, Lucinda Royden and Alice Palmer watch dress rehearsals.

Debutante Georgina Riddle walks 'slowly and elegantly', as instructed by former debutante Patricia Woodall.

A tiara is fitted to debutante Eli Miansarow.

The ball coordinator helps up debutante Zoe Rawson. Zoe, 18, has just started studying geography at Edinburgh University and is traveling to Dubai, New York and Shanghai over the coming year for a string of debutante events.

Debutante Ella Venables is taught to waltz by a guest in the spacious ladies' toilets at Queen Charlotte's Ball. Ella is anxious because she will have to dance with her father but does not know how to waltz.

Queen Charlotte's Ball is the crowning event of the London Season, a programme for a hand-picked group of girls from rich backgrounds, normally aged 17 to 20, who attend social events, take part in etiquette classes and charity fund-raising. The ball took place at the sumptuously decorated One Whitehall Place in London, and involved a special curtsying ritual and a nine-tier white cake.