With a 10,000 dress flown in from New York, dancing until 3am in the ancient grounds of Windsor Castle and an overall cost estimated at 400,000 – that, you might say, really WAS an 18th birthday party.
But what would you expect when you are a royal Princess and your grandmother, the Queen, is footing the bill?
Princess Beatrice’s elaborately Victorian-themed coming-of-age party is still remembered for its extravagance, with guests including moguls, models and millionaires travelling from far and wide to help her celebrate.
Things are rather more sedate for happily married Beatrice these days of course – she is a mother of one child and a step-mother to a second.
But today, as she turns 35, we remember one of royal events of the decade, as reported at the time by The Daily Mail’s Rebecca English.
Prince Andrew, Sarah Ferguson, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie at Beatrice’s Victorian-themed 18th birthday party at Windsor Castle in 2006
Beatrice’s10,000 dress, which featured a voluminous bustle, daring plunge neckline and acres of intricate gold embroidery, was flown over from New York. It was designed by Marchesa, the New York fashion house established by Georgina Chapman, later the wife of disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein
By Rebecca English
Posing confidently in a stunning blue taffeta gown, Princess Beatrice shows why she was the belle of her masked 18th ball on Saturday.
The 10,000 dress, which featured a voluminous bustle, daring plunge neckline and acress of intricate gold embroidery, was flown over from New York by leading fashion house Marchesa as a gift for the Queens granddaughters coming of age.
But the teenage royal was almost pipped to the post by flamed-haired model-cum-actress Angie Everhart, who spent much of the evening deep in conversation with Beatrices father, Prince Andrew.
The couple are said to have dated off-and-on since they were introduced by mutual friends in Los Angeles five years ago despite Miss Everhart, 36, being linked with a string of high-profile men including George Clooney and Prince Albert of Monaco.
She was also famously engaged to Sylvester Stallon and even briefly married actor George Hamiltons son, Ashley.
Despite her prolific romantic entanglements, her presence on Saturday has sparked speculation that love is, once again, on the cards at a time when Andrew, 46, may be looking to settle down.
For the party, Miss Everhart was dressed in a tight black corset with a matching full-length flared skirt. According to one fellow guest she and the prince were together for large portions of the evening, although he was seen dancing at one point with his ex-wife, the Duchess of York.
The theme of Saturdays spectacular bash at Windsor Castle was an 1888 masked ball to mark the fact that Beatrice was born a century later at 8.18pm on August 8, 1988. It also provided a neat link to her great-great-grandmother, Victoria, after whose youngest daughter she was named.
An unknown guest arrives at the occasion, which had an 1888 masked ball inspiration to mark the fact that Beatrice was born a century later at 8.18pm on August 8
There were 400 guests at the Windsor Castle celebration
The princesss female guests and most of the men for that matter went equally to town, ordering made-to-measure outfits costing hundreds of pounds.
According to Alan Flyng of designers World of Fantasy, many girls plumped for a Lilly Langtry-look, sporting full evening gowns with tiny cap sleeves, large bustles at the back and acres of daring decolletage.
It was an unusual theme but we were able to create scores of stunning pastel gowns in rich crepes, silks and satins with dainty little slippers it would have been akin to looking out on a rainbow on the night, he said.
The duchess of York and her younger daughter, Princess Eugenie, also chose to complement the birthday girl in the creams and blues with dresses by Barbara Matera a celebrated Hollywood costume designer who also bizarrely designed the costumes for the Addams Family films.
Among the guests were Demi Moore, her new toy-boy husband, Ashton Kuchner, as well as Kelly and Jack Osbourne, Pixie Geldof, Sir David and Lady Carina Frost and former weather girl, Tanya Bryer.
More than a few eyebrows were raised, however at the absence of most of the senior royals including the Queen, King Charles, and Queen Camilla. Pictured: Charles with Beatrice watching the parade to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002
Beatrices cousins, Princes William and Harry, were unable to attend, citing prior commitments. Pictured: Prince Harry, Princess Eugenie, Princess Beatrice, and Prince William during a skiing holiday in Switzerland in 1995
More than a few eyebrows were raised, however at the absence of most of the senior royals including the Queen, Prince Charles, and the Duchess of Cornwall.
Beatrices cousins, Princes William and Harry, also pleaded prior commitments, but were seen playing polo along with another absentee, Zara Phillips, earlier in the day sparking speculation of a snub.
But although the princesss school friends were said to be downhearted at the lack of British royal eye candy, the presence of Princess Caroline of Monacos son, Andrea Casiraghi dubbed the most handsome prince in Europe eased their disappointment.
Mindful of the fiasco surrounding Prince Williams 21st birthday bash at the castle (which was gatecrashed by comedian Aaron Barschak) Beatrices 500 guests were taken up by coach from the car park amid great security.
The guests tables featured a small birthday booklet featuring a montage of childhood photographs of the birthday girl. Pictured:Sarah, Duchess Of York, photographed at home with her daughter Princess Beatrice in 1989
A one-year-old Princess Beatrice at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May 1990
The Duchess of York and her daughter Beatrice, ahead of the young royal’s eighth birthday
Half arrived in time for a champagne reception at 7.30pm in the castles historic Waterloo Chamber (as they waited for the birthday girl, who was running almost an hour late, they were entertained by tarot card readers, artists and contortionists from the Circo Rum Ba Ba circus troupe) before sitting down to dinner in the neighbouring St Georges Hall.
In order to make the evening more intimate, Beatrice asked the Queens staff to take out the state banquet table and replace it with several dozen smaller tables, eating seating ten guests, upon which had been placed a small birthday booklet featuring a montage of childhood photographs.
Later, as candles flickered and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra played a medley of classical tunes, her friends dined on tarte tatin aux petites tomatoes, followed by a fillet dangeau.
After dinner Andre, wearing a dashing Windsor Coat with decoration then gave a moving speech about his eldest daughter as a short film containing home-made movie clips played behind him.
Here, we look back at Rebecca Englishs (pictured) piece for the Daily Mail, titled ‘Beatrice, belle of the Victorian ball’
The pages from the Daily Mail detailing the ins and outs of Princess Beatrice’s 18th birthday party, datedJuly 17, 2006
He looked fit to burst with pride said a guest.
Beatrice was led to the dancefloor by her father for the first waltz of the night. Later she and her school friends let their hair down as the historic castle began reverberating to the thumping sounds of rap artists including 50 Cent, which continued until well after 3am.
With a flick of her bustle, the princess hit the dancefloor and barely moved off it until her grandmothers butlers started serving bacon and sausage butties at dawn.