Virginia Beach teen invited to be debutant at Queen Charlotte's Ball in England

Virginia Teen One of 20 Women in the World Invited to Royal Ball

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WTKR) Rebekah Sadovnikov is just like most 16-year-old's in Hampton Roads. She likes to hang out with her friends, go rock climbing, and take pictures.

"The nicest thing I owned for a long time was an Apple computer," she says.

However, next week, Rebekah will be anything but ordinary.

She is one of only twenty women in the entire world invited to a party by British high society.

Rebekah was asked to be a debutant at Queen Charlotte's Ball in England. The charity event still holds traditions from past centuries to heart, like the formal procession of debutants.

She will also get to stay at the county estate of the Duke and Duchess of Somerset.

"I mean I've traveled a lot, but it was just like get here, go, get here, go...not sip tea and play croquet," says Rebekah. "It's just overwhelming, also cool, extremely cool, and amazing. A lot of different emotions going on."

Rebekah says she found out about the ball while simply surfing the web. As someone who loves to dress up for nicer events, she talked with her maternal grandmother, and they figured, "why not?"

"I e-mailed them and I said look, you never had a middle class person here before," she says. "This kind of came as a shock to both of us cause you know this is kind of just for fun it`s not like we were expecting anything from it."

With a gorgeous $2,000 dress and nearly a week of debutant itinerary just days away, Rebekah's dream is slowly becoming a reality.

"I've tried for a lot of different opportunities and I've failed on them too, but you have to try in order to get somewhere," she says. "You just have to work to make your dreams come true."

Rebekah will head to England on August 31st with her grandparents. She will attend the ball on September 10th.

Scroll through to see homes of the British Royalty throughout the years:

Homes of British Royalty through the years
See Gallery
Homes of British Royalty through the years
17 Brunton Street: Then
Unlike Prince George and Princess Charlotte, who both had hospital births, Princess Elizabeth was born—on April 21, 1926—at London home of her maternal grandparents, Claude and Cecilia, the Earl and Countess of Strathmore. At the time of her birth, Elizabeth, who was delivered via cesarean, was third in line to the throne.
17 Brunton Street: Then

At left, the Duchess of York leaves 17 Bruton Street on her way to the christening of her daughter, Princess Elizabeth. (The photo at right is from the event itself.) In 1937, the property—along with its neighbor, No. 18—was demolished.

17 Brunton Street: Now
Today 17 Brunton Street houses Hakkasan, a Cantonese restaurant that can hold 220 people on its two floors. The rectangular plaque was put up in 1977 to celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, and the round plaque below was added in 2012, for the Diamond Jubilee.
White Lodge, Richmond Park: Then
The Duke and Duchess of York (Elizabeth’s parents) moved into White Lodge—a hunting lodge built for George II in 1727—shortly after marrying. In part due to the lack of privacy, the family moved to London shortly after Elizabeth’s birth.
White Lodge, Richmond Park: Now
The lodge would go on to house both royals and non-royals until 1955, when the Sadler's Wells Ballet School took up residence. Since renamed the Royal Ballet School, it is one of the leading ballet schools in the world. Prince Charles, pictured here with the head of the training school in 2004, took over the role of president at the school following the death of his aunt Princess Margaret.
145 Piccadilly: Then
Shortly after Elizabeth’s birth, her family moved into the royal town house at 145 Piccadilly.
145 Piccadilly: Then
The home, which offered 25 bedrooms, also had an extensive shared back garden, where Elizabeth reportedly played with other children. Also, corgis. The building—along with many others in London—was destroyed in 1940, during World War II.
145 Piccadilly: Now
Between 1968 and 1975 the luxury hotel InterContinental London Park Lane was designed and constructed at the site of the Elizabeth’s former home. It opened in September 1975.
Royal Lodge, Windsor Great Park: Then
Royal living, at its finest: When she was six, Elizabeth’s family took over the Royal Lodge as their country retreat. The people of Wales gifted the princess with her own small house Y Bwthyn Bach (the Little Cottage) which still stands on the grounds. (That’s the Queen Mum in the gardens with Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret in the left photo, and the princesses on the back terrace of the lodge at right.)
Royal Lodge, Windsor Great Park: Then
Here’s the Little Cottage, with Prince Charles and Princess Anne playing with their grandmother.
Royal Lodge, Windsor Great Park: Then
To put things in perspective, here’s Princess Elizabeth outside the not-so-little Little Cottage.
Royal Lodge, Windsor Great Park: Now
The Queen Mother called the Royal Lodge country home until her death there in 2002. It has since been the official residence of Prince Andrew—Queen Elizabeth’s second-youngest child—the father of Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie. (Their mother is Sarah Ferguson.)
Buckingham Palace: Then
Depicted here in a circa 1894 painting, Buckingham Palace had already been a part of the royal family for more than 100 years at this point. (It was purchased by King George III in 1761.) Elizabeth and her family moved in when she was 10; she would move to the nearby Clarence House after marrying Prince Phillip but returned to the castle when she became queen in 1952. All three of Queen Elizabeth’s sons were born in Buckingham Palace, while her only daughter, Anne, was born at Clarence House.
Buckingham Palace: Now
The official London residence of the queen and the Duke of Edinburgh is generally occupied by them Monday through Friday. The 775-room palace has 52 royal bedrooms, as well as 19 state rooms for official functions. (The latter are open to the public annually for most of August and September, and on selected days in spring and winter.) Princess Charlotte made her Buckingham Palace balcony debut following the Trooping the Colour ceremony to mark the queen's official 90th birthday over the weekend.
Windsor Castle: Then
Set over 13 acres, Windsor Castle, which was originally built in the 11th century, encompasses a palace and a small town. It was used as a refuge for the royal family during the Second World War and went on to survive a fire in 1992. King Henry VIII was laid to rest on the grounds, as were nine other monarchs.
Windsor Castle: Now
The official country residence is generally occupied by the queen and the Duke of Edinburgh most weekends, a month over Easter, a week in June for Royal Ascot, another various holidays. Since 1943, the private grounds have been home to the Royal Windsor Horse Show, which the royal family attends. (At left, the Coaching Marathon race, which is part of the show.)
Kensington Palace: Then
Prince Charles and Diana (at left, with a baby Prince William) took up residence at Kensington Palace, the childhood home of Queen Victoria, after their 1981 wedding; she continued to live their after their divorce in 1996. Following her death in 1987, 100,000 people per day passed through the palace.
Kensington Palace: Now
The official London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children, as well as Prince Harry. You may remember Prince George greeting President Obama and the First Lady in a tiny bathrobe there earlier this year.
Clarence House: Then
For nearly 50 years, from 1953 to 2002, Clarence House was the London home of the Queen Mother. A newlywed Princess Elizabeth and her groom, Prince Philip, would set up residence at Clarence House, which was built between 1825 and 1827, after their marriage. Their daughter Anne, Princess Royal, was born there in 1950. (All three of the queen’s sons were born in Buckingham Palace, where Elizabeth and Philip would live after she ascended the throne.)
Clarence House: Now
All the queen’s men—well, many of them—have called Clarence House home. Today it’s the official London residence of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Prince William lived here from 2003 to 2011, until he was married, and it was Prince Harry’s official home from 2003 to 2012. In 2012, Charles and Camilla welcomed the Dalai Lama at Clarence House.
Sandringham House: Then
Inherited from the queen’s father, Sandringham House is a private estate in Norfolk, England, that spans 20,000 acres. Diana, who would of course marry to become the Princess of Wales, was born and raised at Park House, which is located next door to Sandringham. The original hall was built in 1771.
Sandringham House: Then
Sandringham House is also the final resting place for many of the queen’s four-legged companions.
Sandringham House: Now
Anmer Hall, located on the grounds of the estate, is the second residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as well as Prince George and Princess Charlotte; the 10-bedroom country home was gifted to William room Kate from the queen on their wedding day. The couple added a glass-walled garden room in 2013.
Sandringham House: Now
Princess Charlotte was photographed by her mother inside Amner Hall and on its grounds this spring. The palace released the photos to celebrate the princess’s first birthday.
Back to Buckingham Palace
Of course there are other royals with other residences—and many royals have homes outside of England—but that covers most of our favorites in England. (No offense, Beatrice and Eugenie.) So we’ll leave it to Princess Charlotte to wave goodbye.

(#ht: Mirror, where we got a lot of our history lessons.)


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