|When her Majesty does not hold the drawing-rooms, she usually commands the Princess of Wales or one of her daughters to take her place, and all presentations are considered the same as to the Queen herself.|
Charm of the Presentation
Probably the greatest charm of the presentation lies in the fuss made over the debutante by the debutante's friends. It is talked of weeks before and weeks after, and the day itself is one of long and delirious excitement.
Immediately after leaving the palace, everyone drives to the photographer's to immortalize the gown. It is difficult to imagine how the photographers get through such a day, for not only have they so many appointments, but they are all for nearly the same hour. Nearly every woman who is presented issues invitations for what is known as a "drawing-room tea," and immediately after her return from the studio and a short turn in the park she stands for a couple of hours while her friends flock in to admire her gown, talk over the presentation and congratulate her.
If at no other time in her life she is queen of the assemblage, she is this once, and she enjoys it as fully as only her feminine nature is capable of doing. How differently the men take their presentation to the Prince of Wales when he holds a levee. They drive unconcernedly through town in hansoms, their brilliant uniforms or Court dress standing out against the dark background of the cabs. At 2 o'clock the whole thing is over, and except for the flash of a helmet or the glitter of gold braid from a passing cab London, would not know that a levee was being held.
The Queen, even when she holds a drawing-room in person, which is rarely more than twice during the season, does not remain for all the presentations, as her advancing years make the fatigue too great for her to bear. She may receive half of the list, but usually leaves the Palace about half-past four, for a drive in Hyde Park. This is one of the few occasions which the Londoners have for demonstrating their loyalty, for the Queen dislikes London intensely and spends as little time there as possible.
Hyde Park corner and the park are crowded with people on this afternoon, who are eager to catch a glimpse of her Majesty, and, while her reception is an enthusiastic one for the English to give, it must appear cold to those who are accustomed to the demonstrations some of the popular Continental sovereigns receive. This being the year of the Queen's eightieth birthday, the number of applicants to the Lord Chamberlain for presentation has been very large, especially for those drawing-rooms the Queen has held in person.
When her Majesty does not hold the drawing-rooms, she usually commands the Princess of Wales or one of her daughters to take her place, and all presentations are considered the same as to the Queen herself. —San Francisco Call, 1899
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