Once upon a time the well-bred daughters of Britain's aristocracy
took part in a female rite of passage: curtseying to the Queen. But
in 1958 this ritual was coming to an end. Under pressure to shine -
not least from their mothers - the girls became the focus for
newspaper diarists and society photographers in a party season that
stretched for months among the great houses of England, Ireland and
Scotland. Fiona MacCarthy traces the stories of the girls who
curtseyed that year, and shows how their lives were to open out in
often very unexpected ways - as Britain itself changed irreversibly
during the 1960s, and the certainties of the old order came to an
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