Today, The Queen hosted a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace, the second of the parties which Her Majesty will host over the summer. The Queen hosts four parties each year, three at the Palace and one at the Palace of Holyrood in Edinburgh.
At today’s event, the Sovereign was accompanied by two of her grandchildren, The Duke of Cambridge and Princess Eugenie. Also in attendance were Her Majesty’s cousins, The Duke of Kent, Princess Alexandra, The Duke of Gloucester and his wife, Birgitte.
The party officially kicked off at 4pm, when members of the Royal Family gather on the Palace’s West Terrace for the playing of the national anthem.
The Queen and her family then separated to mingle amongst the 8,000 guests; as is tradition, those who receive invitations come from varied backgrounds and are generally invited in recognition of their public service. As well as speaking to the royal hosts, guests were able to enjoy music from the Band of the Household Calvary and the Band of the Royal Logistic Corps.
Garden Parties are a long-standing royal tradition which dates back to the 1860s. In the past, there were only two parties each year; one at Buckingham Palace and the other at Holyrood. However, there are now four parties on an annual basis, which means that 30,000 people have the opportunity to attend such an event every year.
The Queen can also grant permission for special Garden Parties; for example, there is an annual party held in honour of the Not Forgotten Association, a charity which supports wounded, injured or sick ex-servicemen and women. This year, the Not Forgotten Garden Party will be hosted by the newly-married Duke of Sussex. There was also a special party held this year to mark The Prince of Wales’s 70th birthday in honour of his patronages; this was attended by Prince Charles, The Duchess of Cornwall and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.