0Wednesday. 21st [June 1911]—3 Savile Row
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21 June 1911 — 3 Savile Row
Wednesday. 21st [June 1911]. This afternoon I drove in Hyde Park with Nellie Wyld to see the camps there established for the troops especially brought in to take part in tomorrow’s ceremonies. The effect in Kensington Gardens was very good. Lord Kitchener’s ADC Capt. Learmouth came from him about 5 o’cl to bring me the tickets for tomorrow to which Lord Kitchener had promised me for the Peer’s stand outside the Abbey to view the processions to & from the Abbey. I accepted 3 tickets for Eda Alderson, Miss Chaffey & myself. Miss C. having arrived to stay with me. I went to 17 Cavendish Square just before dressing time to see Blanche in her Peeresses’ robes for the Coronation & helped her to practise putting on her coronet straight on her head. It would look rather ridiculous should she put in on crooked on the occasion—& it was not easy to do it properly without the help of a looking glass. I dined with Lord & Lady Northcote at St James’ Place & started at 7.30 as it was supposed that there would be a difficulty in getting there owing to crowds. Lady N. even suggested one should drive to Piccadilly & alighting opposite Devonshire House walk thro’ the Green Park. I therefore took Giuseppe & Baker (maid) with me as a protection in that case as I would not have dared walk alone in full evening dress & jewels. However altho’ there were quantities of pedestrians & vans full of people being driven round to view the decorations of the streets—the police arrangements were so good that traffic was easy & I was able to drive straight up to the house—arriving there much before 8 o’cl the hour of the dinner. There were already many of the guests assembled—the party being one given in honor of some of the important Colonial politicians– There was a long wait before all were assembled at the foot [of] the big staircase. I was introduced to several people amongst them my partner from Australia—Mr Scare (?). We were placed at 3 round tables—2 in the dining room & one in the boudoir with wide open folding doors. I found myself next to Lord Selborne whom I had not seen since the marriage of his sister Sophie at the Admiralty nine years ago. My partner was pleasant & evidently rather Conservative as he bemoaned the actions of the present govt & took a gloomy view of the future of the Empire. After dinner the ladies went up to the drawing rooms wh are on the 1st floor. The house is a very fine one for London—& overlooks Green Park. It is quite like a country house– Lady Northcote was very kind & hospitable introducing me to many ladies I had not known amongst them Lady Zetland & so the time passed pleasantly until the men came up from the dining room—Lord Kitchener amongst them and he came up at once to talk to me & we sat down & had a chat. He was as pleasant as ever & told me how he was occupied with the rebuilding of the interior of Broome Hall & how busy he was with the arrangements for the ceremony of tomorrow having the arrangements to make for the Processions thro’ the streets. He said also that he had found a copy of the picture “Pinkie” in the possession of Agnew which he had wanted to have for Broome & which he had despaired of obtaining. I asked him when he was coming to pay me another visit at Venice & then he said that he found it would be difficult as he would confide to me that he had been offered & had accepted the post of Sir Eldon Gorst at Cairo. He had as yet told no one of it & if asked by anyone I am to say that Sir A. Hardinge is spoken of for the post. “The other day I heard his name discussed with reference to it & all the time I had the appointment in my pocket.” He said he would be going out to Egypt probably in Septr and hearing from me that I should be returning to Venice at the end of August he said that in that case he would go via Venice & take the steamer from Trieste—& so we settled that. I happening to say that I felt very sorry for Queen Alexandra at this moment of rejoicing in which she could take no part Lord K. remarked that the death of K. Edward had been a good occasion for her to leave off her wig & show some grey hairs. I combatted the idea & asked if he would have had her turn white in a night & added that I thought white hair with a young complexion such as the Queen’s would not be suitable in which sentiment Lord K. did not agree. He then got up & went to look for a sheet of paper to write me a pass for the troops & police in case of need tomorrow & brought it back to me & the party began to break up. One of the Australian Premiers whose name I did not catch came up to Lord K. & said he hoped he wd soon come to Australia & help over the “compulsory service.” Lord K. stopped him & said he would like to suggest that the word “compulsory” shd not be used but one such as “national” instead as representing the idea of service your country & protecting your home. After this we took leave of our hostess & the party dispersed– Lady Northcote said to me on arriving this evening that Lord K. hearing he was to meet me at dinner had asked to take me down but she had told him she could not spare me to him as she wanted me for a Colonial swell– I said that when Lord K. had told me he wd ask her this I knew it could not be as his high rank alone wd have prevented it—but we had our little talk later.

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