I NEVER came out.
It would have been wholly inappropriate for a girl from my neck of Lanarkshire. No, such things are only for the gels of the upper classes, the ones with the money. Frothing and frothy, the young women of breeding outed themselves this week at the Queen Charlotte Ball, all white satin, underskirts and hairspray.
The photographs of the ladies were all tastefully shot, their hems caressing the steps of the Royal Courts of Justice, their tiaras glinting, as they prepared curtsies in the shadow of an enormous white-iced cake and tales of token charity work. Prince Charles, not a man known for walking brain-first into a situation, famously called these parades of nubile blue bloods "bloody stupid".
These queer parties of young women of wealth being prepared for lives as wives pass with only light curiosity paid to them by the outside world. They brought to mind thoughts of Big Fat Gypsy Weddings and how those young women, determined to secure their moment in a meringue and the spotlight, are widely derided for their big day. Ditto the teenagers who glam themselves up for their high school proms in floor length frocks, they too are sniffed at for lack of taste.
What separates the two groups? Breeding.
I was reading, too, about 14-year-old Hero Melia who has been chosen as an ambassador for the divorce charity Kids in the Middle. Hero was raised by her single mother when her heroin-addicted, bank robber father ran off with another woman. Her dad, for example, would buy her and her younger brother Kit Kats because "he needed the foil wrapper for heroin." You'd read her story and wonder why social work never became involved. The answer is because she's the granddaughter of the Marquess of Queensberry and her family are proper posh.
Then there's Prince Harry's new squeeze Cressida Bonas. Her mother, Lady Mary Gaye Curzon, has worked her way through four marriages, producing five children and, in her youth, was photographed part-naked and smothered in engine oil. Of course, having a title, this all is put down to high jinks.
Being upper class is nothing more than a free pass for shenanigans.
Well, shenanigans and a place at Oxford or Cambridge. London School of Economics (LSE) has released findings that class structure is evolving far more slowly than previously thought. For 800 years the same names turn up at Oxbridge; 27 generations of Darcys, Mandevilles, Percys and Montgomerys. These are those who make their debut as debutantes, breezing along with the carefree ease afforded by a solid surname and the old boys' network while the others make do with a sixth year dance.
And it happens unchallenged, this elitism and privilege. It's subtle, snobbery; the scorn associated with Geordie Shore versus the louche embarrassment that is Made in Chelsea; both are equally guilty of sculpted physiques, luminous tans and mental barrenness. It's Glasgow scrapping morning drinking by getting rid of the "grandfather" rules that allow booze to be served with breakfast, illustrating the move with images of blokes taking a pint with their morning fry up, not of those who enjoy a Bloody Mary with their Eggs Benedict.
The LSE study of surnames shows it takes half a millenium for the elite classes to shake off their lineage - 400 years slower than thought. Social mobility is no better than in medieval times. Why is this the case, now, when the gap between rich and poor is ever-widening, that Britain in 2013 makes excuses for a privileged few? Surely, with austerity and a government overstocked with Old Etonian millionaires, this is the time turn up our noses at the upper classes.
A revolution is due. One without taffeta and with white-iced cake for all.
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