Produced by Jo Hughes
The London Season was once at the heart of the upper classes, providing a marriage market for the young daughters of Britain’s most privileged. Today, “The Season” remains one of the last bastions of British elite society, surviving into the 21st Century thanks to its determined organisers, Jennie and Patricia.
Although it remains a glamorous and sophisticated world, the traditions of the Season have had to evolve in this age of social equality. Now it’s more about charitable fundraising rather than decadent partying; the majority of girls are from middle class rather than titled families; the numbers have dwindled to just a handful and the royal patronage comes not from the Queen but from a princess who is 100th in line to the throne. Most importantly, the girls aren’t interested in husband-hunting but are looking forward to university and high-powered careers. Its formidable organisers Jennie and Tricia are hell-bent on keeping the Season alive, seeing it as one of the last vanguards of Britishness. As Jennie says, ”one of the most important aspects of the Season is to preserve it as a tradition, because we’re losing our English traditions, they’re going… we should be proud of our traditions. They are the things that give us our national characteristics”. But does the Season have a role to play in the 21st Century – and what do the girls gain by becoming Debutantes?