A Visit to Buckingham Palace for a Garden Party!

A Visit to Buckingham Palace for a Garden Party!

A truly amazing once in a lifetime experience, I had the honour of attending a Garden Party on the 8th May 2024 at Buckingham Palace. We even got pretty lucky with a beautiful sunny day, here is what happened:

Getting invited to a Garden Party

Every year Buckingham Palace hosts three garden parties and another at Holyroodhouse in Scotland. They are hosted by the King as a way to recognise/ reward public service.  

I work for Bristol Autism Support and in 2022 the charity was awarded with a Queens Award for Voluntary Service. In recognition of the award the charity was allocated two spaces at a garden party and my colleagues had the honour of attending in 2023.

The Lord Lieutenant of the City and County of Bristol, Mrs Peaches Golding OBE and her team were impressed with the work we do at Bristol Autism Support and they put me forward for a personal invite to a Garden Party.

One thing that was a little outdated was that the invitation named my husband first. I appreciate it is tradition but given he was my plus one in this instance would be nice to have listed my name first.

Making a Day of It!

It is pretty rare for my husband and I to have an excuse to dress up these days, it is rare enough for us to get some time alone together. Therefore we decided to make sure we enjoyed ourselves, the garden party started in the afternoon from 3pm so we got into London early and went out for a fancy lunch.

Right next to Hyde Park Corner is the Lanesborough hotel, the perfect spot to spoil ourselves. The staff were amazing and we had a beautiful lunch with a few drinks in the Withdrawing room. It wasn’t cheap but was a real treat and perfect way to start our special day.

Opening the Gates

I have been to Buckingham Palace many times but always as a tourist peering through the gates! It was a really special moment being able to walk through those gates as they opened up for us at 3pm.

The Royals

A right royal affair! The Yeoman of the guard held ground and the national anthem played as the royal family entered at 4pm. At our garden party King Charles was in attendance with Queen Camilla alongside Princess Anne, Edward & Sophie the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh.

A stroll around the Gardens

Two military bands play music throughout the afternoon, one band was playing songs by the Beatles which was thoroughly enjoyed as we strolled around the gardens. I have to say it was at this point I did regret wearing heels. As you would expect the gardens are gorgeous with a large lake to walk around. Everyone was just as excited as us to be there and plenty of photo opportunities.

Afternoon Tea

Inside an absolutely enormous marquee afternoon tea was served. This was delicious which is very impressive given the number of people they were feeding! Later in the afternoon we were given ice cream which was very welcome in the warm weather.

After a gorgeous afternoon we all lined up to watch the royals leave. We then wandered back through the gardens to leave via hyde park gate at the other end of the gardens. A wonderful day!

You can get more information on Garden Parties here.

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