Queen Victoria visits Taymouth Castle, 1842
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert visited Scotland for the first time in September 1842. During their visit, they stayed at various castles as guests of members of the Scottish nobility.
From 7-10 September, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were guests of Lord Breadalbane at Taymouth Castle in Perthshire. Their host went to a great deal of effort to make their stay a memorable occasion. The castle grounds and trees were decorated with flags and coloured lamps.
Mrs Maule, wife of the Liberal MP for Perthshire, was also a guest at Taymouth Castle. She kept a diary of the royal visit.
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7 Sept Awoke at 7 with ‘Hey Johnnie Cope’ from the pipers at the camp. A misty morning… very warm – all anxious and in expectation of our Sovereign Lady’s arrival… The village of Aberfeldy was very gay with 2 arches of heather erected, also one at the entrance of Lord Breadalbane’s property with the motto ‘Welcome to Breadalbane’.
At 10, people in the park beginning to collect and the mist rising gracefully from the hills. The flags flying, birds singing and the hum of voices all round… From one o’clock we began to see people flocking into the Park, all the ladies with Tartan in scarfs or ribbons. 50 of Sir Neil Menzies tenants clad in their Tartan joined the rest in front of the house. Between 3 and 4 we began to expect the Queen and Prince and everything was put in readiness for Her reception.
… Outriders and part of the escort preceded Her carriage and 6 other carriages followed… HM on reaching the door was welcomed by a simultaneous burst of cheering that echoed back again and again and anything so enthusiastic I never saw or heard. Lord Breadalbane at first stood in front of his splendid Highland Guard of 200 men and then having made a bow, bonnet in hand, he came round and assisted the Queen to alight and came up stairs to the drawing room where we were all waiting to receive her.
The following information was included in the last page of the diary:
During the Royal visit, meals were provided each day for a total of 730 people, a combination of members of the royal household, guests, servants, guards, pipers and estate staff. 300 were fed in the castle alone and the rest in nearby locations. Between them they ate and drank:
10 oxen; 163 sheep; 9 lambs; 3 calves; 22 red deer; 15 fallow deer; 26 roe deer; 1 pig; fish supplied daily; 194 brace of grouse; 9 brace of black game; 7 brace of ptarmigan; 2 pairs of capercailzie; 273 chickens; 1200 eggs; 1524 loaves of bread; 9 bolls of oatmeal; 160 gallons of whisky; 900 gallons of ale and beer
(National Records of Scotland reference: GD45/26/89, pp.2-5)