The presentation of debutants continued through to the 20th Century. But society changed, as women wanted an education and jobs. There were fewer elite society events and private balls (too expensive, especially as many Peers sold their huge London houses).

Presentations were suspended during the first and second world wars. Afterwards there were instances of large amounts of money being given to women who had been presented, so they could sponsor someone who would not normally be considered ‘suitable’. Princess Margaret reportedly complained that “every tart in London is getting in”. Queen Elizabeth stopped the presentations in 1958.

Queen Charlotte’s Ball continued to be hosted privately, with debutantes curtseying to a birthday cake, but even that event stopped in 1976.

Picture of debutantes being presented to Queen Victoria in 1860 at Court