Dazzling Tiaras at The Russian Débutante Ball in London

Dazzling tiaras and 19th-century aristocrats’ entertainment channelled in Russian Débutante Ball.

It could have been a scene of a War and Peace, shot in the Grand Ball Room of Grosvernor House Hotel in London. 

Young women in long ball gowns, dazzling tiaras and elbow length gloves performed waltz rehearsed to the point of complete synchronicity, choreographed by Russian dance master Leonid Pletnev – the Honorary President of the International Dance Union.. Escorted by the Officers from two Royal Regiments – The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals – the Débutantes channelled the entertainment of aristocracy of 19th century.

Debutante Ball Tradition

Traditionally, the débutante ball was a way to introduce young ladies from the ‘upper class’ or ‘aristocratic’ families who had come of age into society. They dressed in white gowns reminiscent of wedding dresses – a reminder that they were now eligible to wed. Nowadays, the tradition was revived by Dr Elisabeth Smagin-Melloni.

Parton of the Debutante Ball HH Princess Olga Andreevich Romanoff

The heir of the Russian crown, HH Princess Olga Andreevich Romanoff is the patron of the event that provides a ‘friendly social context’ in which young men and women from all over the world can ‘form lasting friendships’. Indeed, in the rhythm of waltz, there can be no misunderstandings of language or barriers. 

Princess Olga’s father was the son of Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna, sister of Tsar Nicholas II. Princess Olga is the great-granddaughter of the Dowager Empress Maria, through whom she is related to all the major royal houses of Europe. The choice of handsome escorts was thus not a coincidence – combined they form the Household Cavalry and are the two most senior Regiments in the British Royal Army.

The British officers’ uniforms

The officers wearing an Eagle emblem on their left sleeve are the Blues and a Royals, while the Life Guards can be recognised by the little gold bobbles on the front of their jackets. Their uniforms are the “Mess Dress” which is the Army equivalent of White Tie, sometimes Black Tie too.

Princess Olga Romanoff was joined by Joe Alvarez, Tamara Orlova Alvarez, Charlotte Ellis, Elena Bubnova, Julia Demcenko and Marina Alyabusheva – the mother of Bond Girl Olga Kurylenko – amongst others. Guests enjoyed amazing performances by ballerinas and chamber orchestra and were treated to the delicacies of Russian Tsars – beluga caviar and champagne.

 

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Russian Debutante Ball 2016 © Joe Alvarez

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