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The Royal Caledonian Ball

A staple of the London social season for centuries, the Royal Caledonian Ball remains a much-anticipated gathering of Scots south of the border. First held as part of the great "Tartan Revival" of 1822, the Ball has been held almost annually since then, with cancellations only occurring because of events beyond the organising Committee’s control - including two world wars, the death of King Edward VII, and more recently the COVID19 pandemic. It is widely believed to be the oldest charity ball in the world. 


To attend the Royal Caledonian Ball is to dance in the footsteps of those who have come before, including illustrious figures such as the first Duke of Wellington and a long list of royalty, nobility, dignitaries and debutantes. We are fortunate to maintain the patronage of much of the Scottish nobility as well as the Royal Family, including HRH The Princess Royal and HM The King.

From 1930 the Ball has been held at Grosvenor House, which has the largest ballroom in London and is capable of dealing with the hundreds of Scots who descend on the capital to reel the night away each year. Records show that numbers reached around 2000 in previous decades; a figure which is unlikely to be repeated due to modern fire regulations! Still, it is not uncommon to find three generations on the dance floor at once, especially since the custom allowing children - accompanied by their nannies - to watch the Set Reel from the balcony was revived in 2011. It is always a delight to see a row of eager faces watching their parents dancing in the Great Room below.

The Royal Caledonian Ball will return to Grosvenor House on Friday May 10th, 2024. Tickets are available by party and by application only.

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Dance Card

Traditional Scottish reels are danced at the Royal Caledonian Ball from about 10.30pm onwards. You can find a full overview of the dances here.

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Dress Code

Part of the particular appeal of the Ball is that everyone attending wears traditional formal evening dress. The dress code can be found in full here.



Guests wishing to dine at Grosvenor House are warmly invited to attend a sparkling reception, followed by a delicious three-course meal, before dancing commences. More details can be found here.

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