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2009 Debutantes

Chelsea Fitzgerald de Rothchild (Kevin Malin)

Born Chelsea Fitzgerald de Rothchild in the Riverside Park neighborhood of Manhattan, New York, Chelsea is the daughter of Joseph Stuart de Rothchild, a Wall Street stockbroker, and his wife Louise Veronica de Rothchild. She is of mostly French, Mayan, and Spanish descent; her French paternal ancestry is distant.

Chelsea spent her early years with her parents, shuttling between New York City and Easthampton, New York where Joseph de Rothchild built the opulent family mansion and estate on the beach. At a very early age, Chelsea became an accomplished equestrienne, a hobby that would remain a lifelong passion. She also enjoyed drawing, reading, lacrosse and exploring the grounds of this most fabulous estate. But, alas, this idyllic childhood came to an end when her parents divorced in 1995.

“Chels” was educated at such selective schools as Westport Country Day School in Westport, Connecticut. She spent her first two years of college at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts, and spent her junior year in France at the Sorbonne in a program through Wellesley College. Upon returning home to the United States, she transferred to George Washington University in Washington, D.C., graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in French Literature. Her college graduation coincided with younger sister's graduation from high school, and the two sisters spent that summer on a trip through Europe. This trip was the subject of de Rothchild’s only autobiographical book, Summer Abroad, which is also the only one of her publications to feature her drawings.

Chelsea has dedicated her life to humanitarian purposes. She is now an HIV/AIDS awareness activist and safer sex educator, and a spokeswoman for several HIV-related charity groups.

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