Thursday, May 14, 2015
Before moving to this isle, as a good Anglophile and devotee of Jane Austen, Downton Abbey, My Fair Lady, and Oscar Wilde, I often encountered references to "the Season." At the time, I either missed the reference, or it was opaque. In any event, it was only after being here a few years that I began to piece together what it meant.
In the 18th and, more, the 19th centuries, the aristocracy would gather in London for several months out of the year, allowing both politics and social engagement to occur. The season officially began after Christmas and continued through late June. Debutante balls, presentations at Court, and charity events dotted the Season.
Highlights included Royal Ascot and Henley Royal Regatta.
Today, the season runs from April through June and includes Ascot and Henley, as well as the Royal Chelsea Flower Show, Wimbledon, polo, the Cheltenham Royal Cup, and the BBC Proms classical music concerts at the Royal Albert Hall and elsewhere.
This year, I am marking the season by finally attending Royal Ascot, tickets and hat pictured above. When signing up online for tickets, I was sorely tempted to give myself an aristocratic title from the very long list of options...