THE Game Conservancy's Scottish Fair at Scone Palace is our

destination this afternoon, and Julia Ogilvy, who runs Hamilton &

Inches, that nice silver shop in Edinburgh, has kindly invited Old

Camperdown and I to take part in the Scone Palace Challenge Shoot.

Personally, I'm thrilled. Obviously somebody must have tipped her off

about my having had more MacNabs in my time than any other living woman.

(After John Buchan, with no disrespect to the chief of that Ilk, I

should add!)

In the meantime, Julia has written to say she's introducing an

entirely new form of clay-pigeon shooting which is specially suited to

game shooters. The Earl of Mansfield is captaining one of the 20 teams

of three shots competing on a special five-stand layout, Holland &

Holland are supplying all the guns and cartridges. Mind you, I do think

it highly dangerous for the champagne reception to be taking place more

or less at the same time. One really doesn't want a repeat of

Camperdown's performance of two years ago. Afterwards I simply couldn't

face seeing Pam Mansfield for at least six months!

Sir Fitzroy Maclean Bt is being created a Knight of the Thistle on

Tuesday, and the old boy and I will be attending the service at St

Giles'. When visiting Argyll we have always made a point of dropping in

on Fitz and Veronica Maclean at Strachur, and one of my favourite

Argyllshire stop-offs is Creggans Inn, on Loch Fyne, which they own.

Incidentally, Charles, their eldest son, has just collaborated with

Fritz von der Schulenberg, the photographer, to write a book called

Romantic Scotland -- following in his parents' literary footsteps, no


Fitz, mind you, has always been one of my childhood heroes dating from

the night when my horrid governess confiscated my copy of Eastern

Approaches claiming it was unsuitable reading for a young lady. Since

then, of course, I've read simply everything he ever wrote and

particularly adored Ice Station Zebra and Where Eagles Dare. I'm sure

they should have chosen him to sort out Yugoslavia instead of that Lord

Owen; he did so well there in 1945.

Our next great excitement takes place on Wednesday with the state

visit of King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway. Annoyingly we are

unable to be at Leith when they arrive on the Norwegian Royal Yacht

Norge. Instead, we've been instructed to join the Queen and the Duke of

Edinburgh in Charlotte Square, which seems to me to be becoming quite

the Hyde Park of Edinburgh. Of course, I understand perfectly why Her

Majesty doesn't want to receive her second cousin in Leith. Having just

decided to give up her own yacht, it would be just too humiliating. I do

so feel for her, and Camperdown and I've decided to put ours at her

disposal any time she should need it.

From Charlotte Square everybody is parading to Holyrood along Princes

Street with the 1st Green Howards and Household Cavalry, so it should

prove a splendid spectacle, if it doesn't rain. In the evening we've

been summoned to Edinburgh's new Festival Theatre for a performance of

English Ballet's adaptation of The Sleeping Beauty. Now I don't want to

appear unduly nationalistic, but I do think it a bit of a shame it isn't

a Scottish company doing the honours for their Majesties. I'm seriously

contemplating a phone call to the Countess of Dalkeith, Chairman of

Scottish Ballet, to ask why.

Anyway, apart from meeting up with all the Royals again, the old boy

and I are genuinely excited at the opportunity of seeing the largest

theatre stage outside of London. Fiona, our daughter, who attended the

opening variety show a fortnight ago, says it looks like a large glass

aviary, but my old dancing partner James Dunbar-Nasmith, whose firm of

architects also built Sunning Hill for the Duke of York, is terribly

pleased with it. Norwegians rather like things modern when it comes to

architecture and although I invariably agree with everything he says, I

do so hope the Prince of Wales doesn't go and put his foot in it again.

On Thursday, King Harald and Queen Sonja are popping up north to have

a look at Orkney which, once upon a time, 500 years ago, they owned.

Camperdown is a trifle put out we've not been invited on to Norge for

the farewell banquet, but he's never been particularly keen on

smooresbrod anyway, so I'm not at all bothered. Besides, I'm told it's

quite a small boat.

Funnily enough, while on the subject of Norway, only last weekend

Camperdown was saying we should have driven over to Laurencekirk in

Aberdeenshire for the Drumtochty Highland Games. We last attended these

16 years ago when the castle was owned by Victor Ogley, an American

entrepreneur associated with entertainment on cruise liners. Now the

castle is owned by Gunter Thamm, a German gentleman. The old boy,

however, has vivid sentimental memories from the time when Drumtochty

served as a wartime hostel for Norwegian refugees, and grandpa

Camperdown was called upon to escort King Haakon VII on a visit to plant

a tree. On our last visit, Vic Ogley produced some photographs from an

old album and there, just behind the King of Norway, standing in a

flowerbed, was Young Camperdown.