Royal Events and Ceremonies: annual events you can take part in – 2024!

Royal Events and Ceremonies: annual events you can take part in – 2024!

Each year, there are many Crown-worthy events you can participate in. This post covers a list of Royal Events and Ceremonies to add to your diary now.

Surprisingly, some of our most popular content here is about Royal events. For the past few years, our guides on the summer garden parties have been really popular! We have had requests to compile more opportunities where you can participate in Royal events and ceremonies. So, we’re pleased to share this list of some of the big ones to plan for.

 

 

Royal Events and Ceremonies: annual events you can take part in!

The British monarchy is steeped in history and tradition. Numerous royal events and ceremonies take place throughout the year. These events, some of which are open to the public, offer a fascinating glimpse into the world of royalty. Here’s a summary of some of the most significant annual events hosted in England month to month.

 

January: New Year’s Honours List

The New Year’s Honours List is an annual event where The King recognises the achievements and service of people across the UK. The list is published in the official newspaper of the Crown, The Gazette.

There are events that surround this special occasion. Keep an eye on your local news and Royal sites for more. You can also nominate for the awards. More information is here.
 

April: Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday is the day The King distributes special Maundy money to local pensioners in a UK cathedral or abbey. This day, considered the fifth in the Holy Easter week, recognises people for their service to their community and the church.

In 2023, the Evening Standard published an informative piece about this lesser-known – yet historical – of annual events. Read more here.
 

April: ANZAC Day

One for my fellow Aussies and New Zealanders. On ANZAC Day (and my birthday!), we remember those who defended our nations far across the sea, but never came home. ANZAC stands for Australian & New Zealand Army Corp.

When we lived in London a few years ago, we heard about an invite-only service at Westminster Abbey that expats can attend. But, you must apply to be considered. Members of the Royal household and other special dignitaries attend. Keep an eye out here on the embassy website for a chance to apply for the coming year.
 

May: The RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Amazing garden designs, gorgeous floral displays, exclusive shopping and Royal appearances! May marks the start of the spring-summer season in the UK, and this is a great way to celebrate. Find out more here.

 


 

June: Trooping the Colour

Also known as The King’s Birthday Parade, Trooping the Colour is a spectacular ceremony that regiments of the British and Commonwealth armies perform. This official State occasion, held on the second Saturday in June in London, marks the official birthday of the British sovereign.

It is always a wonderful spectacle on the ground and in the skies. Thousands of people turn out to attend and line the streets around Buckingham Palace. Anyone can attend, but arrive early to secure a great spot.
 

June: Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot, held in the third week of June, is a major event in the British social calendar. Each day begins with The Royal Procession, where The King and members of his family arrive in horse-drawn landaus. The Royal Enclosure is at the heart of Royal Ascot, with strict dress codes and exclusive entry requirements.

More information on tickets and dress code can be found on Visit Britain’s site here.

 

 
 

June: Garter Day

Garter Day is a procession and service held each year at Windsor Castle for the Most Noble Order of the Garter, a chivalric order founded by Edward III. The Order is the senior and oldest British Order of Chivalry, and their motto is ‘Honi soit qui mal y pense’ (shame on him who thinks this evil). The ceremony takes place on the Monday of Royal Ascot week.

Visit Royal.uk to find out more about the fascinating history of this day and the procession that takes place.
 

June: Beating the Retreat

Beating the Retreat is a military ceremony, traditionally performed at the end of the day during times of war. Today, it takes place at Horse Guards Parade for two nights in June each year. The event features military music and precision drills. The Mounted Bands of the Household Cavalry and the Massed Bands of the Household Division put on quit a show!

Beating the Retreat is a ticketed event. The Household Division’s website publishes details on tickets each year.
 

July: Buckingham Palace Summer Opening

Every summer, the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace open to the public for ten weeks.

Visitors have a unique opportunity to explore the lavish rooms that The King and members of the royal family use to receive and entertain guests on official occasions.

 

 

Summer: Garden Parties

Garden Parties are a staple in the Royal calendar. A tradition begun by Queen Victoria in the 1860s, the King hosts a minimum of three parties each summer at Buckingham Palace, and one at Holyrood House in Edinburgh.

These events recognise those who have made significant contributions to public service. You generally receive an invitation to them only once in your life, as they are exclusive events.

We had the great honour of attending in 2019, one of the very last events the late Queen hosted.
 

November: Remembrance Sunday

We observe Remembrance Sunday on the second Sunday in November. The King and members of the royal family join political leaders, representatives of the armed forces and veterans at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, to remember those who have died in conflicts.

Similar to ANZAC Day as mentioned above. Millions of people recognise this day alongside the Royal family.
 

December: Christmas Broadcast

The King’s Christmas Broadcast is a traditional part of the Christmas Day festivities. We know that even in Australia, many still tune in for the annual message of hope from the King. The ruling monarch uses this broadcast as an opportunity to reflect on the past year and look ahead. Once a radio-only event, it of course now goes live across the world in multiple ways.

These events provide a fascinating insight into the traditions and duties of the British monarchy. Whether you’re a royal enthusiast or simply interested in British culture, all are a chance to dip your toes into the culture and history of the UK.

For more information on events and appearances, keep an eye on royal.uk and themonarchists.com. Other great sources of information for event in London include Time Out and The Londonist. 

Royal Garden Party attire: behind the scenes at the palace!

Royal Garden Party attire: behind the scenes at the palace!

There’s something truly magical about the Royal lifestyle, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll understand why I’m absolutely enchanted by it. My journey into this glamorous world began in 2019, when I had the incredible opportunity to attend a Royal Garden Party.

I still remember the excitement, the preparation for the event, and the awe-inspiring feeling of being part of something so grand and traditional. It was not just an event; it was a memory etched in time.

Fast forward to 2024, and the allure of these Royal Garden Parties, now under the reign of King Charles, has grown even more. It’s like stepping into a page of history, yet each year brings its own contemporary twist, especially in terms of fashion. Let’s dive into what it takes to dress for such a prestigious event, blending the time-honoured traditions with the vibrant pulse of current fashion trends.

Dates for this year’s parties are:

  • Wednesday 8 May Buckingham Palace
  • Tuesday 21 May Buckingham Palace
  • Tuesday 2 July Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

 

 

Fashion Forward: The 2024 Guide to Royal Garden Party Attire

When dressing for a Royal Garden Party, the aim is to strike a perfect balance between formality and the latest fashion. It’s about respecting the grandeur of the palace and its traditions while showcasing a bit of your own personality and style.

 

For Women:

  • The Dress Code: Classic choices like a formal day dress or a sophisticated skirt and blouse combo are ideal. However, the length should be modest, keeping in line with the event’s decorum.
  • 2024 Trends: This year, we’re seeing a stunning trend of bold florals, especially intricate rose patterns and three-dimensional embellishments. Adding metallic touches to your outfit is also a stylish nod to contemporary fashion.
  • Color and Style: While revealing outfits are a no-go, all-white ensembles have emerged as a trendy yet elegant choice. Sleeveless or off-the-shoulder dresses, if styled tastefully, can be a great option. And don’t forget, a chic hat or fascinator is a must – maybe even with some playful fringe accents!

 

For Men:

  • Dress Code Essentials: A well-fitted suit or a blazer with trousers is the standard. Opt for lighter shades like grey or beige to keep things fresh and in tune with the season.
  • Embracing the Trends: This year, the ‘eclectic grandpa’ style is making waves. Think classic loafers or a tastefully patterned sweater. If you’re aiming for a more relaxed vibe, pair a preppy polo or rugby shirt with your blazer.
  • Modern Twists: While traditional attire like a morning coat is still in play, don’t be afraid to experiment. Stylish loafers, and even more adventurous footwear choices that blend elegance with comfort, can set you apart.

Here’s how we addressed it:

 

Understanding the Day Dress Code at Buckingham Palace

While embracing 2024’s fashion trends, it’s essential to respect the specific “day dress code” required at Buckingham Palace for Royal Garden Parties.

For Women: Opt for elegant day dresses, preferably knee-length or longer, that align with the Palace’s decorum. Incorporate contemporary trends like bold florals or subtle metallics to add a modern flair.

For Men: The day dress code calls for a suit or a smart blazer and trousers. Traditional colors are a safe bet, but lighter shades or subtle patterns can offer a stylish, contemporary edge.

 

Practical Tips for a Flawless Royal Garden Party Experience

 

Comfort Meets Style: Practical Considerations

  • Footwear: Choosing the right shoes is crucial. For ladies, the chunky heels of 2019 have given way to the chic and comfortable kitten heels in 2024, perfect for gracefully navigating the garden terrain. For gentlemen, stylish loafers or comfortable dress shoes are ideal.
  • Dressing for the Weather: The English weather is nothing if not unpredictable. Lightweight, airy dresses are perfect for warmer days, while adding a stylish blazer or a light jacket can prepare you for a cooler turn in the weather. Men can opt for breathable fabrics in their suits to stay comfortable.

 

Colour and Trend Insights:

  • Bold and Bright: This year, it’s all about embracing vibrant colors. Gone are the days of sticking solely to navy, black, or grey. A boldly printed dress or a brightly colored suit can make a fantastic fashion statement.
  • Shimmer and Shine: The ‘heavy metals’ trend is in, allowing you to incorporate shimmering elements into your attire, adding a touch of glamour and helping you stand out in the most sophisticated way.

The Art of Dressing for the Occasion:

Remember, the essence of Royal Garden Party attire is finding that sweet spot between formal and fashionable. It’s about dressing respectfully for the occasion while still injecting your unique style into your outfit. The key is to respect the tradition but also embrace the new – blending the old with the new is what 2024 is all about!

 

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

Image courtesy royal.com

 

Got any questions or need more tips on Royal events or fashion? I’m always here to share insights and advice.

Drop a comment, and let’s keep the conversation going. Your curiosity and engagement are what drive this community of royal fashion enthusiasts. Let’s explore this glamorous world together!

 

More information:

Keep an eye on the Royal website for updates on events in 2024.

Is there any other information you’d like to see covered about Royal events? Let us know and we’ll find out more. We’d love to hear from you – please do drop us a line in the comments.

 

 

 

Royal Garden Parties 2024 [updated!]

Royal Garden Parties 2024 [updated!]

Much has changed since the sad passing of Queen Elizabeth in September 2022 – we still remember so fondly the Royal Garden Parties she hosted. In 2019, Cooper and I were exceptionally lucky to be invited to attend a Royal Garden Party. We’ve been reminded of it all again as we finished up The Crown on Netflix recently (sob!).

As it happens, the event we attended 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?

Since 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

 

Happily, King Charles has continued the tradition of hosting these events! At the time of publishing, there’s not a lot of detail yet around how this will look in 2024. What I can tell you, is to keep an eye on the Royal website for updates on events in 2024. As these are summer events, I would suggest that the schedule will be set around February.

 

…How to score an invite then?

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 do miss the Queen, it’s wonderful that 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.

Find out what Royal Garden Party attire is appropriate: behind the scenes at the palace!

Many local councils and organisations across the UK have already nominated people to attend the garden parties in 2024, but you could do a little research in the area where you live to see if there are still opportunities available. Let us know how you get on!

 

 

 

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.

Here’s a behind the scenes guide at what to wear!

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