Our History

By the time the Pathé footage to the right was taken in 1962, the Royal Caledonian Ball had already existed for well over a hundred years - possibly as long as a hundred-and-fourty. While tales of its origins vary, we are certain that it must by now rank amongst the oldest charitable balls in the world. Generations of Scots have followed the call of the pipes onto our dance floor and helped raise crucial funds for deserving causes. Details may have changed and dance cards evolved, but from Almack's Assembly Rooms in the 19th century to Grosvenor House today, tradition and the exhilarating whirl of tartan remain.

The Caledonian Ball was first held under the auspices of the reigning monarch in 1841, when Queen Victoria granted her Royal Patronage. We are fortunate to have retained the Royal Family's patronage ever since, and were delighted to join other charities in celebrating Her Majesty the Queen's 90th birthday at the Patrons Lunch in June 2016. 

The Royal Caledonian Ball Trust was established in 1849 and registered formally in 1962. It is estimated that the Trust has donated over £3,000,000 to a variety of small Scottish charities working in a range of different fields and locations since its inception. The name was changed to its current form - the Royal Caledonian Charities Trust - in 2014.

We are in the process of dusting off our archives and establishing a definitive timeline for the Royal Caledonian Ball and Charities Trust. Given our long history, and as we are always keen to discover additional material, we would be delighted if our guests (past and present) could share their memories with us, whether it's vintage photos, favourite stories, or old dance cards. Items from before the "digital age" would be particularly appreciated but all manner of mementoes are welcome! Should you be interested, please do get in touch with our archivist.