The summer brings an array of calendar staples from RHS Chelsea and garden parties, to Trooping, Order of the Garter, Ascot and polo. I love the tradition associated with each of these events, and the history the royal family has with each one.
The royal party made their entrance at 4 pm to the national anthem.
Every summer, Her Majesty hosts three Garden Parties at Buckingham Palace, and one at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Scotland. In a sign of the Queen reducing her commitments, Prince Charles hosted the first this year.
The garden parties were instituted by Queen Victoria in the 1860s when they were known as 'breakfasts', despite taking place in the afternoon. Historically, Garden Parties took the place of presentation parties attended by debutantes, and have evolved into a way of recognising and rewarding public service.
They were greeted by an 8,000 strong crowd.
They then dispersed into the crowd, taking a separate route, known as 'lanes', to ensure as many guests as possible had the opportunity to meet a member of the Royal family.
Over the course of each year, The Queen welcomes over 30,000 guests to spend a relaxed summer afternoon in the beautiful palace grounds.
The Duke and Duchess enjoy a laugh with guests.
The Palace describes Garden Parties as "an important way for The Queen to speak to a broad range of people from all walks of life, all of whom have made a positive impact in their community".
More from the official website:
"Throughout the country, a long established network of sponsors is used to invite guests, who include Lord-Lieutenants, Societies and Associations, Government Departments, Local Government, the Services, the Church and other Faiths. They nominate guests for invitation and we hope in this way to achieve a representative cross section of the community. It is not possible to acquire invitations to The Queen's Garden Parties through direct application to Buckingham Palace."
On Instagram, Kensington Palace shared a very sweet photo of Kate meeting assistance dog Max. They wrote: At today’s Garden Party The Duke and Duchess met Kerry Irving and his assistance dog Max. In 2006, Kerry’s car was hit by a truck, leaving him housebound with chronic neck and back pain. Kerry still suffers with the pain from his back injury, but he credits Max with helping him to get his life back on track. Kerry has since retrained as a locksmith and Max is always with him. Kerry and his wife Angela have held dog walks to give other people the chance to spend time with Max, and helped raise money for local rehoming centre Eden Animal Rescue."
Other royals in attendance included the Earl and Countess of Wessex.
Sophie chatting with guests.
Princess Alexandra in a lovely floral ensemble.
Her Majesty met artist Yinka Shonibare. His work explores cultural identity and globalisation. William presented him with his CBE earlier this month.
The Mail reports Her Majesty told one guest: "Well you do rather hope the sun shines as when you invite 8,000 people to have tea on your lawn it can be a bit of a worry."
An overview of the event.
A view from the lake at the Buckingham Palace garden party in 1897.
Preparations begin months in advance to ensure everything is in perfection condition ahead of the first garden party. Buckingham Palace revealed: "Mowing the lawns, edge clipping, leaf-blowing and sweeping are all carried out across the grounds, as many seasonal plants and flowers come into bloom. Seasonal bedding displays nearthe rose garden are planted, including Osteospermum 'Tresco Purple', which will come into bloom from June right through to October. In and around the rose garden regular work includes dead-heading, weeding and clipping to ensure everything is as beautiful as possible. And in the final days and hours before guests arrive, final touches to the lawns and grounds are made."
This beautiful Magnolia, named 'Elizabeth', was given as a present to The Queen from Brooklyn Botanic Garden to celebrate her 55th Birthday.
A video from the party.
The Duchess tends to opt for repeats more often than not for garden parties. In 2012, Kate wore a pink Emilia Wickstead dress, in 2013 she selected the vibrant yellow and white Marella coat by the designer. In 2014, Kate wore her much loved bespoke lace Alexander McQueen dress and in 2016 the Duchess brought back the cream ruffled McQueen dress she first wore for Prince George's christening. In 2016, William and Kate also attended the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland's Garden Party at Hillsborough Castle. Kate chose a gold brocade coat by Day Birger et Mikkelsen she's had for over a decade. And in 2017, Kate repeated her Christopher Kane coatdress.
This year, Kate selected a bespoke soft pink coatdress by Alexander McQueen.
Kate's coatdress incorporates elements from the Open Necked Pleated Coat and the Ruffle Double Breasted Coat.
The Duchess accessorised with Diana's pearl earrings, we've seen them for a number of formal occasions.
The Duchess carried her Loeffler Randall clutch. UPDATE: Etui Bags report Kate carried one of their designs (with thanks to Ksiezna Kate Blog).
And wore her Gianvito Rossi praline pumps.