In the late autumn of 1904, Duke Mecklenberg and the Dutchess visited England and Scotland. Major Gordon, then Mr. A. A. Gordon acted as their cicerone in Scotland. He met them at Waverley Station, Edinburgh and he escorted them to the Caledonian Hotel. Major Gordon guided them for about ten days both near and far from Edinburgh. De Duke and Duchess' Master of the Household was the huge and delighted Von Rantzau, a distant connection of Bismarck. One day during the visit was devoted to the Earl of Wemyss at Gosford House, East Lothian. Major Gordon knew that the Duke was not exactly persona grata with the British Royal Family and he knew that their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Connaught were guests there at the time. On entering the great hall Major Gordon noticed that two figures hurriedly got themselves behind pillars. Later he told in his memoirs that the visit of Mecklenburg took Their Royal Highnesses by surprise and it was they who tried to conceal themselves behind the pillars. At Gosford, Duke Mecklenburg met with the Earl of Midleton, Secretary of State for India, and Mr. and Mrs. Asquith.
Quote by Major Gordon:
“I found Their Highnesses (Duke and Duchess of Mecklenburg) most kind and thoughtful. I dined with them every night in Edinburgh, and they invited themselves to my home for tea one day so as to meet my wife and our children. When they left Scotland en route for Germany they presented me with a huge silver quaich some nine inches in diameter and delightfully inscribed, as was also a very large and beautiful etching of the Duke and a smaller signed portrait of the Duchess.”
The quaich measures 28.8cm including the handles, 20cm in diameter, and 9cm high. The weight is 22.5 oz troy. The hallmarks are Edinburgh (the castle), thistle (assay office silver mark), 1898 (date letter r), Britannia (Britannia silver being higher than sterling silver content: 958 rather than 925), H&I (Hamilton and Inches, who hold the Royal Warrant as a silversmith to the royal family, maker's mark).
RECTO: "To Mr A. A Gordon in grateful remembrance of our charming stay at Edinburgh,
VERSO: "Elizabeth Duchess, Johann Albrecht Duke of Mecklenburg.”