Her Majesty The Queen is set to host the first royal garden party of 2013 at Buckingham Palace later today when she invites distinguished members of society to the Palace for tea, light food and the chance to tour the grounds and garden and also the chance to meet and talk to Her Majesty.
Other members of the Royal Family also attend alongside The Queen. For today’s first garden party of the year, it is not stated who will be joining Her Majesty, though The Duke of Edinburgh will be there.
Approximately 10,000 guests, from all walks of life, attend each garden party every year. And every year, a minimum of 4 garden parties are held by The Queen. Three at Buckingham Palace and one at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Scotland.
Guests queue outside the Palace in time for the gates opening at 3pm. Guests are then permitted to tour the gardens and see many parts of it that most people wouldn’t ordinarily see, even at the Summer Opening of the State Rooms when visitors walk through the garden after their tour.
Guests can go for tea and food in the canopies setup in the garden for the garden parties. Every guest is permitted to have as many cakes, tea and sandwiches as they wish. The quantities served are enormous. At a typical garden party, around 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cake are consumed. Some 400 waiting staff are involved in the serving.
At 4pm The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh and the Royal Family come out onto the steps of the Palace and are greeted by the national anthem. The Queen and the Royal Family then circulate among the guests and talk to some of them.
At about 6.00 pm, The Queen and other members of the Royal Family leave the garden, when the National Anthem is played to mark the end of the party.
At Buckingham Palace the Yeoman of the Guard, Gentlemen at Arms and Gentlemen Ushers are on duty. At the Holyroodhouse garden party the Royal Company of Archers and the High Constables of the Palace are on duty.
The Queen is to host two more garden parties at Buckingham Palace on 30th May and 6th June before holding a garden party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on 2nd July.