Balls were common occurrences amongst the upper classes of English society during the Victorian era, and very popular. Whether private or public celebrations, balls were used to introduce young ladies to society and potential suitors. Hours of preparations went into the lavish evenings which would feature dancing, music and refreshments in luxurious surroundings. The ballroom dances changed throughout the nineteenth century – in the early half the waltz and polka were at the height of their popularity, but later on balls became less common amongst the younger generation and not all the usual dances were known. The marriage of Queen Victoria to Prince Albert would most certainly have been a good excuse for the high society of London to celebrate with a series of balls.