Memoirs

Source: Sir Almeric FitzRoy, Memoirs (New York: G.H. Doran Company, 1925), p. 105

Text: September 14th. … Unlike the practice in the Queen’s time, the whole party in the house, King and Queen included, dine together. Jimmie Webb and Lady Cecily were also there from Mar Lodge. The King and Queen entered the drawing-room where we were all assembled, and shook hands with the newcomers, and then proceeded into the dining-room together. The Queen’s manner during dinner was much more vivacious than I had been led to expect, and she wore an expression of interest that belied her deafness, though Lord Cromer told me he did not think she heard a word he said.

After dinner we were called upon to witness a cinematograph entertainment; the scenes were mostly taken from the Coronation Procession, and the gilded coach was presented to us ad nauseam; very few of the figures were recognisable, and the oscillation of the medium affected the optic nerves most unpleasantly. The display opened with a vulgar presentment of the King on a very large scale, which elicited from His Majesty the characteristic remark: “Decorations on the wrong side!”

Comments: Almeric FitzRoy (1851-1935) was Chief Clerk to the Privy Council of Queen Victoria and King Edward VII. This extract from his chatty memoirs comes from a diary entry for 14 September 1902, shortly after the coronation of Edward VII. The location was Balmoral in Scotland.

Links: Copy at Hathi Trust

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