To many, New Year’s Day marks not just the beginning of the next era but also the end of the party season – but not for Europe’s elite. Plans are already in place for 2017, with high society’s social calendar fast filling up. We’ve picked out a few of the most exciting, extravagant and world-renowned events that nobles and royals from across Europe will be attending in the upcoming year, and that you can attend, too.
London Boat Show
According to the Royal Calendar, The Princess Royal, formerly known as Princess Anne, will attend the London Boat Show at the ExCel Exhibition Centre in London on the 11th January 2017 in her capacity as President of the Royal Yachting Association.
The Princess Royal has one of the busiest schedules of the royal family members, with her extensive philanthropic and society engagements taking up much of her time. As well as the Royal Yachting Association, she’s also the president of Save the Children UK – a title that has seen her visit many far-flung countries such as Cambodia, Botswana and Madagascar.
The London Boat Show is an annual event that began in 1957, and attracts the industry’s biggest names as well as nobles, celebrities and other guests of note who are looking to buy yachts, equipment and more.
English Chamber Choir and the Belmont Ensemble of London
Concerts and live musical performances are also favored pastimes of the English Royal Family. This is particularly true of Princess Alexandra, The Honorable Lady Ogilvy, who is a patron of both the English National Opera and the London Philharmonic Choir, as well as the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. She is expected to be in attendance at the performance given by the English Chamber Choir and the Belmont Ensemble of London on the 20th January.
The Belmont Ensemble is one of London’s most famous chamber orchestras, and is credited with founding the Baroque Festival – a series of concerts given at St Martin-in-the-Fields. The English Chamber Choir has been active since 1972, and built up an impressive repertoire of popular classics. The two groups frequently perform together at society events in Trafalgar Square.
Vienna Opera Ball
Each year, the Vienna Opera House hosts an annual white-tie Vienna Opera Ball – the next of which will take place on 23rd February 2017. Believed to have begun in 1814, the ball was – and remains to be – the cultural highlight of the city’s social season. It was first hosted in the Vienna Opera House in 1877, and was halted under orders of the Reich Government in 1939. Following the reestablishment of the Republic of Austria and the grand reopening of the house, the ball returned to the ballroom in 1956.
Attendants are granted an exclusive opportunity to visit the exquisitely decorated ballroom, where the house’s selected debutantes of the Young Ladies and Men’s Committee are introduced to society as they open the ball with a waltz.
Guests include prominent figures from the worlds of culture, politics and business, visiting from across the globe. The Vienna State Opera Orchestra, led by world-renowned conductors, and the dancers of the Vienna State Ballet take to the floor in specially prepared performances.
While once the reserve of those in the industry, Fashion Week has evolved to become a major event in many a social calendar. Celebrities and nobles are often spotted in the front row of elite designer’s shows, particularly in the four major destinations: London, Milan, Paris and New York.
In 2017, the womenswear cycle will start in London, running from 15th to 19th September. In previous years, royals such as Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece, and sisters Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice have been seen at London’s shows. The event then moves to Milan from 21st to 27th September – a famous fashion hub and the location that in 2016 attracted Charlotte Casiraghi, international style icon and daughter of Caroline, Princess of Hanover. The last European destination – and one of the most highly regarded Fashion Weeks – is Paris, where events will be running from 27th September to 5th October. In the past, attendees have included Princess Charlene of Monaco, Princess Alexandra of Hanover and Pauline Ducruet, daughter of Princess Stephanie of Monaco.
The Minuet Grand Ball
Ask any visitor what comes to mind when they think of Venice, and you can be sure Venetian masks will be high on their list. While these distinctive decorations might be found year round, they come into their own during the city’s grandest celebration – the Carnival of Venice. Said to have begun in 1162 as a celebration of the city’s culture and heritage, the festival is now renowned worldwide and attracts nobles and royalty from across the continent, as well as visitors from all walks of life.
The final night is arguably the most elaborate; it’s the evening of the famous Minuet Grand Ball, named for the ballroom dance favored by European aristocrats and danced at the opening of 18th Century society balls. The masked event begins with welcoming cocktails served to traditional music, followed by a candlelight formal dinner finished with classic Carnival sweets and topped off with dancing.
From Italian grand balls to musical performances in London, there’s plenty to look forward to in the next 12 months – and you might just find yourself waltzing alongside some of Europe’s most illustrious figures.