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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 end.
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