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Royal Garden Parties 2023 what’s the future?

Royal Garden Parties 2023 what’s the future?

With the sad passing of Queen Elizabeth in September 2022, I’ve been thinking back to the Royal Garden Parties she hosted. In 2019, Cooper and I were exceptionally lucky to be invited to attend a Royal Garden Party.

As it happens, this was one of the very last of these events the Queen actually hosted. The following two years saw this special event cancelled due to COVID. When the Queen’s Garden Party returned in 2022, she was already beginning to get quite frail and did not attend.

 

Royal Garden Parties: What does the future hold?

During the past week as the Queen’s funeral unfolded, I have been contacted a few times on LinkedIn with enquiries about our time at the garden party.

Our Royal Garden Party experience was truly exceptional and we felt so honoured to be invited. There’s a lot of interest around how to get an invitation to the Royal Garden Parties in England and Scotland. I was even approached by Business Insider to share my story about this!

A Royal garden party invitation - hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace. Copyright royal.com

Image courtesy royal.com

 

The question remains though, will King Charles continue the tradition of hosting such events? At the time of publishing, there’s not a lot of detail around how this will look in 2023.



 

What I can tell you, is to keep an eye on the Royal website for updates on events in 2023. As these are summer events, I would suggest that the schedule would be set around February. You could also do a little research to see if your country’s High Commission or the like, extends offers to apply or be nominated to attend.

The Mirror in the UK published a little advice on the topic in 2022 too, read here for more details.

Attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace, photo by Ferdinand Stohr, Unsplash

You could also keep an eye on active ‘royal watcher’ blogs like this one that shares updates and goss as it becomes available.

If you can find your way into a royal event, it’s well worth it. The Brits really know how to make an event fabulous!

While we will miss the Queen, I hope King Charles continues the tradition. I hope that you have the chance to attend too :)

In the meantime, if you’d like a little more insight into what expat life is like in London, travel on over to our YouTube channel and look for the living in England playlists.



5 things to know about a Buckingham Palace garden party

5 things to know about a Buckingham Palace garden party

Following a surprise Royal garden party invitation to an event we attended this past week, here’s what it’s like at a Buckingham Palace garden party…

If you’re invited, you’ll need to know:

Buckingham Palace garden party need to know

  1. When to arrive at the Queen’s garden party
  2. What to bring to a Buckingham Palace garden party
  3. What to wear to the Royal garden party
  4. What to eat for afternoon tea
  5. How to greet the Queen, the royals and make friends

 

 

We were so fortunate to get to attend the Queen’s Buckingham Palace garden party in May 2019. Thanks for all your kind messages on the blog and on Twitter. It’s a special privilege to be invited. We certainly had a lovely afternoon.

We were blessed with probably the best day of the year – sunshine and warm. No jacket or umbrellas required! But there’s preparatory work we’d recommend if you find yourself with a ticket to a Royal garden party.

 

When to arrive at the Queen’s garden party

We turned up at the time the ticket said the gates opened. That’s fine and we were inside the Buckingham Palace garden party within an hour, in time to see the Queen arrive.

However, getting there a bit early to be at the front of the entry line would have meant more time inside Buckingham Palace without the crowds.

The benefit of going in earlier might also mean getting in first for the food. Additionally, you may have a better chance to stand at the front of the line to see the Royal family when they emerge. I can’t guarantee you’ll meet them – that seems to be ‘pre-arranged’ – but a front row seat is always worth a shot.

So, if I had the chance at a Buckingham Palace garden party again, I’d be at the gate well before entry time.

 

What to bring to a Buckingham Palace garden party

There’s strict information on the ticket about what you can and can’t bring. It’s indicated that you can’t bring big cameras. I took this to mean DSLRs.

Phones are perfectly acceptable. Some people had smaller DSLR cameras though, including ones with zoom. Helpful if you want a close-up of the Royals or celebs (in a non-stalkery way, of course).

We have a camera that would have passed muster, but our phones were fine for photos.

In the event of rain at a Royal garden party, I’d advise taking as little as possible. I’m not sure there’s much cover except in the food tents which would get very crowded if the weather was bad. Apparently you can take umbrellas if you get unlucky with the English weather.

You’re on your feet for a good few hours, so avoid unnecessary jackets and extra items to carry around. It’s just easier that way.

 

What to wear to the Royal garden party (and ladies, tips on shoes)

Everyone is dressed up. A Buckingham Palace garden party is one occasion to plan for and go all out. We did, and I’m pleased we put some thought into it.

Plan for different types of weather – light jacket if it’s likely to be cold.

Hats and fascinators are the way to go. I had the chance to borrow a fabulous fascinator which had actually been to a Buckingham Palace garden party previously!

Shoes need special consideration, ladies. You need style and comfort. The grass can be squishy or wet. You’re on your feet for a long time too, both standing in the main garden party area and wandering around Buckingham Palace’s grounds. I wore mid block heels which were fine for a few hours, but started to cut near the end. I hadn’t taken flats for my commute home – definitely would if I had my time over.

View: behind the scenes – click ‘read more’ or the arrow top right to look at our photo story:

Queen's Garden Party

 

What to eat for afternoon tea

Everything!

There’s plenty of food – sandwiches, sweets, tea, iced coffee.

The lines at the beginning can be long so wait a while until it calms down. You won’t miss out. Our invitation read a little like the food starts to run out after about an hour. It certainly didn’t appear that way to us.

You can go back for seconds too (just ask Cooper). Don’t feel like you need to pile your plate so high you risk spillage. That would be embarrassing 😁

Queens Garden Party 2019 Kate and William

 

How to greet the Queen, the royals and make friends

Get lucky enough to shake hands with the Queen? Start with  ‘Your Majesty’, and subsequently ‘Ma’am’. Royal.uk offers a helpful guide on how to greet other members of the Royal family. Read more here

If you happen to speak to any of the royal family, stay away from personal questions.

We would have had a chat about how the Corgis must have loved playing around the palace grounds! 🐕

Of course, there’s thousands of others at the Queen’s garden party at Buckingham Palace. It’s easy to strike up a conversation with another interesting character who has received an invite. Start by asking if you can take a photo for someone, or accept their offer, and go from there. Don’t be shy – everyone’s in a happy frame of mind so you’re likely to make a new friend in the process.

Do you have other tips to share, or questions? Perhaps you have been to a Royal garden party at Buckingham Palace also? Drop us a line in the comments…

 

Royal garden party invitation to Buckingham Palace!

Royal garden party invitation to Buckingham Palace!

Things can happen unexpectedly. Little miracles, if you will – and that’s what I spotted this week when entirely out of the blue, I received an email inviting me to a Royal garden party in London in May! The Queen’s Garden Party, no less. I squealed (fortunately not aloud), and ran over to my colleague’s office from where the email had come.

‘Are you kidding, can I go to a Royal garden party?’ I squealed (this time).

Can you go?’ She smiled, ‘Are you free on the 21st?’

‘I’ll be free for the Queen, yup, absolutely!!!’

The Queen’s Garden party – are you kidding? I’m not going to pretend I don’t care about this – I love the Royals. We’ve been in London for the excitement that was William and Kate’s wedding and Harry and Meghan’s. We even covered that 2018 event for radio in Australia. It was divine!

A Royal garden party invitation - hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace. Copyright royal.com

Image courtesy royal.com

Royal Garden parties

Every year the Queen hosts three parties at Buckingham Palace and one in Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. These events are designed to recognise and reward public service.

Another truth, I’m a fan of Royal dramas – everything from The White Princess to The Tudors, Victoria and The Crown – count me in!

I’d spotted that Queen Victoria initiated a ‘breakfast’ (although also held in the afternoon, akin to the contemporary Royal garden party) in an effort to get more in touch with her people. Up until then as I understand it, most Royals kept themselves at quite a distance from, well, the rest of us.

With the world rapidly changing in the Victorian era (mid to late 1800s), the demand for our royalty to be more in touch with everyday life increased. And so the mingling began.

Events with the public have changed shape over the years though, and Queen Elizabeth’s summer garden parties as we know them today at Buckingham Palace have run since just after the second World War.

What to expect at a Royal Garden Party

Lots of people (thousands – like a very elegant festival!).

And a Royal garden party serves up loads of food. Think 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cake. Included on the menu are many of the Queen’s favourite treats.

There’s royalty too. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh accompanied by other members of the Royal family speak to a range of people throughout the afternoon.

The dress code is strict – women wear a day dress and hat or fascinator and men wear a lounge suit (or ‘morning dress’).

There’s a nice Royal garden party round-up on the Royals’ webpage.

 

How to get on the invite list to a Royal or special event in London

While the Queen’s Garden Party is invite only and I was lucky to be randomly selected through work (I had no idea it was even possible to go to something like this!), I’ve discovered there are ways you can apply to try and get yourself on the guest list.

As we did for the beautiful Anzac Day memorial service in London (VERY special if you get the chance and are from Australia or New Zealand), you can apply to attend the Queen’s Garden Party via the Australian High Commission.

Do a quick Google for the authority that relates to you to see if there are any ties that give you the chance to apply in advance for an event like a Royal Garden Party with the Queen in summer at Buckingham Palace.

Be mindful of making the best of your opportunity though. I believe that you can only receive one invitation and/or only attend once. With demand being so high for such a special occasion, frequent chances to go along simply do not exist.

If you can’t make a Royal garden party though, you can tour Buckingham Palace. It’s usually open in the summer, and you can find out more by searching for it on Visit London’s website, among other sources.

We’ll report back in May on the event. Wish me luck … that I don’t trip over my feet or my words 😎

Update following the Garden Party

We had a wonderful time! View: video, photos and the 5 things to know about a Buckingham Palace garden party. We were also featured on Business Insider following the experience 👑

Royal garden party at Buckingham Palace featured image via Royal.uk
It’s a party for the Royal wedding in London!

It’s a party for the Royal wedding in London!

There’s an energy in the air in London. Even people who claimed to not care too much about the impending nuptials now aren’t denying there’s electricity around…. a spring in everyone’s step… a little excitement, and a load of Facebook and Twitter updates!

Of course there are a few sad Sam’s, but everyone else can’t help but notice the thousands of media who have descended on the Capital, the special upbeat play-lists all the radio stations are pumping out, endless pub events and club line-ups that are being promoted… it’s turning out to be one big Cool Britannia party, and we’re all invited!

Evidently even the anti-monarchy sentiment in Australia has recently been at its LOWEST in decades. Yep, Kate and Wills (or the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as we’ll officially call them in under 24 hours) are well-liked, and most of the world is loving the positive news story.

Even when we were in America last week the hype was high – it’s a big story, but it’s a popular story.

At work we fell into the inevitable ‘Diana’ conversation, and how we reckon she’d love Kate.

Apparently there are some hardcore Diana-ists threatening to boycott the wedding and cause dramas… a note, if you ‘support’ Diana, you’d leave her poor son alone.

He’s been through enough, but now, a happy ending? We can only hope so.

I’ve bought my merchandise, street party outfit, special t-shirt for Cooper… even got my hands on the limited edition Oyster (London travel) Card as a collectable memento for my mum back at home.

I’m super excited about the big party around this amazing city. I’m fortunate to be here for such a historical and hopefully happy event.

Cheers Kate and Wills! Good on you for being the charming couple that everyone likes. Now, off to join the thousands out in the street… see you on TV 😉

 

royal wedding

 

PS we ended up in town for another future Royal wedding – take a peek here!