03-14-2014, 09:58 AM
My character an Indian princess is going to UK for a finishing school
I want to show her attending the graduation cermony.

I also showed my character learning social eitiquitte what else will she learn.

All suggestions welcome and thanks

03-14-2014, 04:34 PM
I didn't know we had finishing schools here.....

03-14-2014, 04:45 PM
I found this


but finishing school is a very old fashioned idea. As is an Indian princess.

When is your story set?

Mr Flibble
03-14-2014, 05:45 PM
It is pretty old fashioned -- also, I think most girls got sent to Europe for finishing school (Switzerland rings a bell) rather than stayed in the UK

Maybe your character could come to college for something else?

03-14-2014, 05:47 PM
I didn't know we had finishing schools here.....

Or graduations.

Old Hack
03-14-2014, 06:04 PM
The closest thing there is to a graduation ceremony at my sons' school is an hour or two in the assembly hall, which some parents attend but most don't, where leavers' packs are given out and the kids who have done especially well get given prizes. It's very low-key. There are leavers' balls, but again, they're relatively low-key.

There used to be public schools (that's schools you pay to go to, rather than state schools, which are free to attend) which used to call themselves finishing schools: but I don't think such a concept exists any more. The emphasis is on qualifications and academic study, rather than learning deportment and social graces.

03-14-2014, 06:04 PM

This is all really vital information to provide in your question so AWers can provide the most useful answers.

We just had a thread with a dozen or more really good answers that all ended up being useless because the story was actually set on an entirely different continent.

There's a good example of how to narrow your question in the stickies.

03-14-2014, 08:07 PM
Yes, I'd only heard of girls being finished in Switzerland too.

And graduation - that is university only. No-one has the USA style graduation ceremonies in robes and mortar boards at school. (And no University has yellow robes..... usually black, though Uni of London has maroon for higher degrees.) And no leaver's ball at my school. I can't remember going to a leaver's assembly even. There might have been one and I didn't bother, but not sure.

03-14-2014, 10:25 PM
We had a disco back in 81 when I left school but I think it was down to individual schools to mark it. It could be different now though.

Los Pollos Hermanos
03-14-2014, 10:47 PM
An increasing number of English schools seem to be doing US-style proms these days for year 11 (10th grade equivalent) leavers. My current and previous school do.

As for finishing schools - I don't even know if Switzerland still has them! As a child, I vaguely recall reading an archaic Enid Blyton story which referred to them.

03-15-2014, 12:01 AM
The kids see high school proms on the telly and think they should have one too. Can't really blame them for that. (We had a dance at the end of that year too, back in the '90s, even if no-one knew how to dance.)

03-15-2014, 07:05 AM
Even today royalty and children of rulers and such do attend Swiss private schools, though they are not necessarily "finishing" in the old-fashioned sense of getting ready for debut. That way the kids can discover just how horrible their parents have been and how horrible they will become when they go home.

03-15-2014, 09:42 AM
Thanks for the response . As I said she is an Indian Princess and her would be father -in-law wanted her to do it. It is set in 1921.
while she returns I want to show meeting a Pirate. How he forces her to love him . That is the plot.

03-15-2014, 05:16 PM
Padnar - could I suggest that another time you give a date at the top of the thread? :)

We've all spent time giving you largely modern answers - which while it has been an interesting discussion about graduation from secondary school, wasn't really relevant to your period. :)

Now you've said "1921" - be aware that in the UK education for women, especially rich women, sometimes had a lot of inbuilt assumptions about the future role of said woman - so maths, physics, chemistry and other sciences may well not have been taught much, or at all. Also the "maths" would have been aimed at a lady doing her accounts, rather than teaching integration for example.
Likewise deportment and ballroom dancing were definitely taught but it would be very rare these days. I'd go looking for a reproduction of a book of the 1920s regarding etiquette for young ladies.

Further thought - some women were able to have a university education but it was not the "norm". Schools would vary as to the academic teaching they offered both in terms of subject (as mentioned) and standards.

03-15-2014, 08:50 PM
Ok sure and thanks alll for the info

03-15-2014, 10:06 PM
In 1921, I would guess that the 'graduation' would be some kind of presentation at court and coming out ball. I've no idea if an Indian Princess would get an invite to such a thing in that period.


03-16-2014, 07:08 PM
Debutantes were presented at court, but I thought it needs someone in the right circles to be the person presenting. Nothing to do with the finishing school itself.

Incidentally Pendar - you say your plot has a pirate - where is his territory that he pirates?

03-16-2014, 08:44 PM
Bolero, that's correct. A debutante in Great Britain did not have to attend finishing school; and the completion of finishing school had little to do with whether she could be presented at court.

She had to be sponsored by a woman who had also been presented at court. Her mother, an aunt, grandmother, mother-in-law, or friend of the family (though that was more rare). There were specific dresses that had to be worn, the requirements of which were published ahead of time.

This is true for men as well, they also had to be sponsored by a man who had been presented.

Everything you ever wanted to know about Dress and Insignia Worn at His Majesty's Court, Issued with the Authority of the Lord Chamberlain (1921) (https://archive.org/details/dressinsigniawor00greauoft) from the Internet Archive.

This includes the dress of Members of the Indian Civil Service (who were often British, not Indian) in the Diplomatic Corps. Though it does say:

In the case of Indian gentlemen ... a pugree may be substituted for the (headgear) prescribed in the rules.

That book is entirely filled with requirements for any possible man, in whatever role down to His Majesty's Swan Keeper, attending any possible Court event. There's a page on what women should wear.

Feathers, veils and trains have now been abolished, and the style of dress for ladies attending Courts is the same as they would wear at any official evening reception, with Jewels, Full-size Orders, Decorations and Medals (see pages 107 - 109).

This book is full of drawings of what men must wear to court. For women it says:

Sketches showing the style of dress expected are on view at the Ceremonial Office, St. James's Palace.

Probably because what men wear is the same for every given rank but women can wear a variety of different dresses, provided they meet the style expected.