The Veiled Prophet organization, started in 1878, is a venerable St. Louis institution. Every December, a debutante cotillion is held with great pageantry, inspired by Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
The Bengal Lancers
The Bengal Lancers always put on an excellent show: marching precision mixed with fluff, frippery and frivolity! The costumes, music, clarions, and announcer all contribute to a bizarre and impressive spectacle only to be found in St. Louis!
|With great pomp and circumstance, a Queen of Love and Beauty is chosen by the Prophet.|
It's always fun to see generations of families in attendance; gentlemen in white tie and ladies in white gloves and long gowns. It never changes - it is always the same format! The new batch of debutantes - usually sophomores in college, are introduced to the assembly in a walk down a raised aisle to meet the Veiled Prophet. The most exciting part of this year's ball, and no, I don't think I imagined it, was an eagle flying down the runway and back again to its handler just prior to "the walk". It happened so quickly that my dumb digital camera couldn't document it. You'll just have to believe me, I don't think that I was hallucinating!
Prior to the Ball's start, there is always a lot of activity going on in the side aisles. This year the attendants were giving out yellow cards (like demerit slips) for inappropriate and undesirable behavior such as hooting and hollering at the debs.
Emily, Moi, and Nora
A best friend of Emily's since childhood, Nora Chambers, was our guest for the evening. It was a working night for her, as she was completing an integral part of her senior thesis project at Tufts University. As a Women Studies major, her tentative title is "The Development of Femininity and Womanhood in the Veiled Prophet Ball". Of course, drinking a glass or two of champagne was required to experience the Ball in its entirety and closed out a fun and entertaining evening!