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23 Jan 2024
updated 23 Jan 2024

Royal Dinner Party

The Master of the Household
has received Their Majesties' commands
to invite

Lieut. Colonel H.A. and Mrs. Kaulback

to dinner at the Royal Pavilion, Aldershot
on Tuesday the 20th May 1928 at 8.30 o'clock.
The reply should be
addressed to the
Master of the Household
Mess Dress

It was on account of my husband Harry being in command of the 1st Bn. The King's Own Royal Regiment of which H.M. King George V was the Colonel in Chief, that this honour was conferred on him with me as an appendage. The Commander in Chief's wife, Lady Campbell, had told me that we would undoubtedly be invited during Their Majesties' stay in Aldershot and I think the occasion was somewhat unique in that we were the only guests apart from the C. in C., Field Marshall Sir Colin Campbell V.C., his wife and the Lords and Ladies in waiting.

At dinner I sat next to The Master of the Household which was next but one to the King, and Harry similarly sat one away from the Queen, so we had little conversation with either during the meal itself. But after dinner was ended and the Queen with her female entourage had retired to the drawing room, my turn arrived. Her Majesty [Queen Mary], who had evidently been well primed, talked at some length mostly about Harry, Ronald and Bill; and then when the King with his gentlemen were about to appear, she rose from her chair and until they left the whole party remained standing.

The King came over to talk to me once the party was reunited, and his first words were "Well, Mrs. Kaulback, your husband tells me he has just been fined for speeding", and I answered "Yes sir, a two-pound fine." He was much amused, particularly as Harry had only one arm. Small talk followed, and shortly afterwards Their Majesties left. But the members of the Household, those who were not in personal attendance, remained with us and continued the evening for some time longer.

It was by great good fortune that I had a beautiful dress to wear. An exquisite lace shawl, one of our family heirlooms, embroidered by hand with a design of wild roses, cleverly draped over a cream satin dress. Sad to say, the dress and shawl were lost in the great fire that destroyed Ronald and Audrey's house on Bantry Bay some years ago.

March 1981