Royal Garden Parties Have Officially Returned to Buckingham Palace!

Traditionally, Her Majesty The Queen hosts three Garden Parties at Buckingham Palace and one at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Scotland. Royal Garden Parties began in 1868 during the reign of Queen Victoria.

Garden Parties are part of the annual royal calendar as ways for the monarch to recognize and reward individuals and organizations of public service.

Garden Parties were canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. The Queen last attended the Garden Parties in 2019.

Annually, over 8,000 guests from across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth come to the grounds of Buckingham Palace to enjoy these outdoor events mixing with the members of the British royal family.

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall

This year, due to issues of mobility, The Queen will not be attending any of the garden parties and other public events far from Windsor Castle. 

The Princess Royal at The Garden Party, May 11, 2022

She will be represented by members of her family. The first Garden Party at Buckingham Palace after two years was hosted by The Prince of Wales on May 11, 2022. 

The Duchess of Cornwall greeted guests at the Garden Party this year

The Prince of Wales hosted the Garden Party this year

Prince Charles was accompanied by The Duchess of Cornwall, The Princess Royal, The Duke of Kent, and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent. Despite the rain, around 8,000 guests across the country attended the event. 

The Princess Royal, The Prince of Wales, and The Duchess of Cornwall

On May 12, 2022, a special Garden Parry for The Not Forgotten Association was organized at the Palace grounds, hosted by the charity's patron, The Princess Royal. She was accompanied by her husband, Sir Timothy Laurence.

The Not Forgotten Association is a military charity founded in 1920. This foundation aims to provide leisure and recreation for wounded, injured, or sick service and former service men and women of the military. 

Who are invited to the Garden Parties?

People who get an invite to attend the Garden Parties are those who have made a positive impact in their respective communities.

Throughout the United Kingdom, a network of sponsors - societies and associations, government departments, local government, the Services, the Church, and other faiths - will nominate guests for the invitation as representatives of these communities/groups to the Garden Parties. But there are some instances when the Palace accepts direct applications from individuals.

What happens at a Garden Party?

The Palace gates are open from 3:00 PM on the day of the Garden Party. The party will officially begin when The Queen and members of the Royal Family enter the garden at 4:00 PM. 

The Duke of Edinburgh and The Queen stood outside the BP door as the National Anthem was played

The National Anthem will be played by one of the two military bands present and will continue to play a selection of music while the party goes on.

The Queen and members of the Royal Family will then circulate among the guests through lanes. Random presentations are made so that everyone has a chance to speak to Her Majesty and members of the Royal Family. 

The Queen then arrives at the Royal Tea Tent for the Tea break. Guests are free to eat and drink, explore the palace ground, and stroll around the beautiful gardens.

There's a dress code for the guests to follow when attending Garden Parties of The Queen. Gentlemen wear lounge suits or morning suits, while women wear a day dress, usually with hats or fascinators. 

The Queen last attended the Garden Parties in 2019, a year before the pandemic.

The Queen last attended the Garden Parties in 2019. Getty Images
The Queen with her grandchildren, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, and The Duke of Sussex attending the 2019 Garden Party at Buckingham Palace

Calendar of The Queen's Garden Parties for 2022:

  • May 11, 2022 - Buckingham Palace
  • May 18, 2022 - Buckingham Palace
  • May 25, 2022 - Buckingham Palace
  • June 29, 2022 - Palace of Holyroodhouse 

Royal Presence at The Windsor Horse Show

Her Majesty made a surprise appearance at the Royal Windsor Horse Show on May 13, 2022, Friday. The Queen regularly attended the annual Windsor Horse Show near Windsor Castle.

The Queen was all smile as she made a surprise appearance at the Windsor Horse Show

This year, despite mobility issues, she managed to attend the event as her mare, Balmoral Leia,  participated in the competition.  

Her mare was declared the Supreme Champion! No wonder Her Majesty was beaming with happiness. 

Despite concerns about her health, Her Majesty appeared in great shape. She stayed for an hour at the parade ring and was seen chatting happily with Henrietta Knight, a retired racehorse trainer. 

Her youngest son, Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, and his wife, The Countess of Wessex, seated beside her.

She arrived at the venue of the event in her Land Rover, and just in time to watch the Highland Class 64. Her horse, Balmoral Leia, a five-year-old grey dun mare, was later declared the Supreme Champion.

Despite missing several public engagement and official events, including the State Opening of Parliament and the Royal Garden Parties, the Queen continues to carry her public duties through virtual meetings. She also regularly receives diplomats and guests at the Oak room in Windsor Castle.

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