April 7, 1816
You are hereby Cordially invited to His Grace, The Duke of Wellington’s birthday party on the 1st of May.
Reception and Dinner to be held at Number One Apsley House.
Dinner will begin at Five PM sharp.
Followed by celebrations at Almacks.
We look forward to your attendance and wish you a fine evening,
The Duchess of Wellington.
It was to be the Duke’s 47th birthday and the anniversary of his victory over his adversary (as all great men must have a great adversary.) The party was to be enormous and the best of society would be there. To be invited was any young debutantes dream, the making of anyone. Not to be uninvited was an unconscionable embarrassment.