Take a fantasy ride into the glamorous world of The 3rd Russian Debutante Ball in London where Prince & Princesses try to make their dreams come true
Once upon a time in a place called London, a young man, excuse the poetic license, was watching X-Factor and having a cup of tea…. Time for the boy from Wimbledon to be turned into a dashing Prince, and he has only an hour, well you know there is nothing like male planning before a chauffeur limousine from Russian Link will pick me up
and take me to The 3rd Russian Debutante Ball in great style, held at The Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane in Mayfair. Time me thinks to remember all those etiquette tips my mother was so insistent I remember.
To start Gentlemans Butler Christmas festivities off I want everyone to gather round charge your glasses as Uncle Michael will tell you the story of a Prince and Princess.
Ladies and Gentleman, I want you to remember what it was like to fall in love and to think of all the wonderful things that Christmas can bring.
Immediately I have taken myself to the setting of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker together with memories of my families Christmas.
Indeed I remember it well as it consisted of my brother and I being jumped upon by my over excited and very loving Sister with cries of Happy Christmas, combined with the wonderful smells of my mother starting to prepare Christmas lunch, myself going to turn the Christmas lights on the tree as this was my remit and my brother lighting the fire.
What’s this got to do with a Debutante Ball, well in my opinion everything but fundamentally it’s about love.
As I was talking with a good friend of mine, love, comradeship, companionship are fundamentals for the human race and in fact I was to learn The Debutante Ball works on multiple levels but all value these key factors.
There are probably no better example of a culture that the elegance and beauty of a decadent ball exudes than Russia where the art, beauty, music, class and style in a winter setting is a ballet in its own right.
I was brought up by my mother a beautiful lady who was the epitome of class and beauty and is in fact one of the key reasons why I started Gentlemans Butler. When I was invited to the Ball recently I could hear her voice in my ears and see her smile, telling me I had to dance and all the other things mothers tell their sons.
The Ball is a chance for lots of ladies and gentleman to come out into society and shine, look beautiful and have a lovely time…..sounds familiar does it not….. how many men of 30, 40, 50, 60 or more have heard their partners tell them we need to do something glamorous and beautiful, whilst he is thinking does that mean Rugby, of Football or we could go to the Formula 1….. I am jesting by the way but it’s true…. ladies love the chance to wear some beautiful clothes and yes gentleman once they have stopped protesting take great pride in the style of their tailoring and the shine of their shoes.
I try to switch off my journalists head when I attend these events and just enjoy myself, which I certainly did. I will admit at present I am a single man so entering a room full of super glamorous ladies has a habit of grabbing my attention, add in a smattering of celebrities, Royals
from numerous countries including our own, an orchestra, big band, a true ballet star or several…. a beautiful meal to look forward to and yes the fact Chelsea are not doing so well this season starts to fade away…
I was lucky enough to have attended their pre ball party, the night before in Mayfair so I had already met some people including a few Debutantes and their partners.
Both Charlotte Ellis and Lana Holloway seemed to have the impression I was someone important so was lucky enough to talk with nobility and Royals from around the world as well as an Admiral or two, well my surname is Grenville!!
I was lucky enough to meet and spend some time with Lana, who runs her magazine, production company and is a fully active mother so as you can imagine she has no shortage of energy and has supreme social and etiquette skills, always introducing herself and her guests with names and titles.
I remember working for a highly respected film producer when I entered the industry and he always introduced himself with a name and title which not only puts you on the front put but avoids any confusion which is a very welcoming quality to have. She was looking idyllic wearing diamonds by Piaget and an evening gown by couture label Si Fashion Galerie, especially flown over from Dubai.
For me I came away with an impression of great warmth as genuinely there was very little stuffiness and a lot of welcoming people. I was lucky enough to get to know a little about the Russian diaspora, a group I have not had great contact with.
A young couple Julia, a Ukrainian Debutante who definitely has a gift for taking the hostess role and her very English boyfriend Ollie particularly caught my attention as I was genuinely impressed with, going out of their way to make me feel welcome and when young people are regularly questioned it’s heartening to meet such a genuine young couple, and I must thank my dancing partners, particularly Dasha.
I think the thing that stuck in my head the most was how nice it was to dance properly, though I am not classically trained by any degree I love to dance and have been told I have good rhythm, so for me it reminded me of what an excellent way it is to meet someone. Its I think mainly because you are doing something active so to a certain extent takes away from the embarrassment as most of the time you are having a lot of fun but at the same time trying not to step on your partners feet, rip her dress or knock down other people on the dance floor .