I promised you in my last post some more about the annual Queen's Garden Party. I hope I did not give you false hope that I was one of the lucky invitees this year, but I do know someone who went, does that count? Each summer, the Queen hosts three garden parties in London, and one in Edinburgh.
About 8,000 guests attend each one, thus the long lines that you see in these photos as they wrapped around the grounds of the palace. Various national organizations are given the opportunity to submit the names of people who have made contributions in their walks of life. It thus becomes a way to honor the achievements of a large cross section of the community.
The garden parties last from 4-6 in the afternoon, and begin when the queen arrives at 4 with the band marking her official arrival. She is accompanied at each party by other members of the royal family. Tea, coffee, juice, sandwiches and cakes are served, and I hear from an inside source that little ice creams were also served late in the afternoon.
What to wear, you wonder, should your invitation arrive on your doorstep? Ladies usually are in afternoon dress,
while gentleman wear "morning dress or lounge suits."
Morning dress would require a tailcoat, a waist coat (vest), and often striped trousers, while lounge suits (not to be confused with leisure suits) would indicate a suit and tie. Top hats are often worn with morning dress.
Most ladies would choose to wear a hat or a fascinator, which is a delicate head ornament, such as the one above, that might have feathers, flowers or beads on it. I thought this one was quite interesting, because it was hard to tell where the feathers stopped and where the hair started. Imagine how distracting that would be to the queen when she looked you in the eye!
Not all gentleman wore pants however, some preferring a looser fit.
Security is tight, as you can imagine--no party crashers allowed here,
and I think they're pretty serious about you coming in only through the front door!
Here's a short video that the Royals have made so that we commoners will know what we can expect, when and if that illusive invitation arrives on our own doorstep. Sigh.... Maybe next year!
A second click will enable you to watch in on YouTube. Enjoy!