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.
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.
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!
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 addressedit:
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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’).
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.
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
Royal garden party at Buckingham Palace featured image via Royal.uk
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