Queen Victoria in Atholl

Extract from MS249 The Atholl Experience

Queen Victoria’s first visit to Scotland, 1842

From Scone Palace to Dunkeld: “. . the whole of the way from Scone to Bridgend, and from the bridge, down Charlotte Street, along the Crescent, up Atholl Street and for a great distance along the Dunkeld Road, in fact as far as the eye could reach, was literally crowded with happy thousands . . . The road from Perth to Dunkeld, a distance of fifteen miles, exhibited a very animated and picturesque appearance.  Triumphal arches were reared at every little distance; numerous houses along the road were decked with flowers and evergreens; flags were hoisted on the tops of houses, suspended from windows and planted on the tops of the adjoining hills.”

At Dunkeld:  “The pontage gate of the Dunkeld Bridge . . . was decorated as a Gothic arch, with crockets clothed with heather and mounted with a crown . . . The royal tent stood on the lawn, to the east of the Cathedral . . . sixty-four feet by twenty feet . . . the boarded floor covered with crimson.  The west side of the tent was left entirely open, so as to afford a view of the romantic scenery.”

“At two o’clock, a princely déjeuner was served in the royal tent . . . The dessert, elegant as it was abundant, consisted of queen pine-apples, grapes, peaches &c., currants en chemise, and ices in infinite variety.  The pine-apples were served up on a splendid gold assiette monté, surrounded with grapes, and embellished with silken banners, with the national and the Atholl arms.  The service was of massive silver.  Atholl brose was served to the Queen out of Neil Gow’s glass, which is preserved by the Atholl family.  It is of an ancient form, has the initials N.G. cut on the side and holds nearly a quart.”

Illustration and quote: A&C Black Queen Victoria in Scotland, (Edinburgh, 1842), pp 46-48

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