The London Season and the Queen Charlotte’s Ball Bringing Smiles Around the World

6 November 2019 | Smile Train

Jenny Hallam-Peel had heard stories about the Queen Charlotte’s Ball for as long as she could remember. Her mother and grandmother counted having been presented to Her Majesty the Queen as a highlight of their young lives.

So, when it came time for Jenny to make her own debut, she worried that her experiences might not live up to expectations. Thankfully, she was wrong. Jenny learned valuable business skills and etiquette and met personable and interesting people from around the UK – it was so much fun.

The family tradition continued when Jenny’s daughters participated.

In 2001, when it came time to choose a new custodian for the London Season, the organiser of the Queen Charlotte’s Ball and other debutante events around the world, Jenny was chosen to lead the group.

London Season
(Photo Courtesy of The London Season)

Jenny kept many of the cherished traditions that debutantes have enjoyed for generations, but she added a philanthropic focus with opportunities to fundraise for non-profit groups.

Jenny had started supporting Smile Train when a friend, who works as a doctor, shared how impactful cleft surgery is on children’s lives. The London Season subsequently raised funds for Smile Train at the London Season Ball in Dubai a few years ago, which was a big success.

Melody Zhao

Excitingly, the debutantes for the Queen Charlotte’s Ball 2019 would raise funds and awareness for Smile Train. Events were held throughout the year, including an exciting event by Debutante Ambassador Melody Zhao. Jenny said of Melody, ‘She is an inspirational girl who became Debutante of the Year – we hope she will continue as an honorary ambassador and mentor for next year’s group’.

Through these fundraising events and donations at the ball, the London Season has raised £18,000+ this year, with the potential for more in the coming months. Jenny said of the impact of the donation to Smile Train, ‘It is the most wonderful and exhilarating aspect of the London Season and really makes the effort of organising the ball over the 12 months so very much worthwhile’.

Jenny said her work wouldn’t be possible without the patronage of Their Graces the Duke and Duchess of Somerset, the Duke and Duchess of St Albans, Sir David and the Hon. Lady Roche and Lord Fermoy.


If you’d like to learn more about the London Season, check out its website.

To support the London Season’s efforts to help us provide smiles and second chances at life for children around the world, please make a gift today.