Queen Victoria and Prince Albert made Balmoral their favoured summer home, first renting, then purchasing and extensively renovating the castle (1853-1856). On 16 October 1861 Queen Victoria wrote to King Leopold describing the delightful picnics they had enjoyed on the grounds that summer, in which the ghillie Mr. Brown had distinguished himself by his attentiveness. A few weeks later the Royal family were back at Windsor, and the Queen's mind was preoccupied with the affair of her son the Prince of Wales with an actress. So great was her dismay at this liaison that Albert travelled to Sandhurst to dissuade the Prince from continuing his dalliance. It was during a long walk together, during which the Prince lost the way, unnecessarily prolonging their walk in the chilly rain, that Albert caught the cold which would weaken his resistance to a fatal typhoid fever only a few weeks later. On 30 November 1861 Queen Victoria, as yet unaware of the gravity of Albert's condition, wrote to her eldest daughter Vicky, Empress Frederick of Prussia, commenting upon the wonderful time that they had enjoyed at Balmoral. It is possible that this vinaigrette may have been given as a token of remembrance by the Queen to someone who had contributed to the last happy summer she enjoyed with Prince Albert at Balmoral.