An Invite to a Royal Garden Party…
Around about this time of year a lot of people are receiving invitations to attend a Royal Garden Party at either Buckingham Palace in London or Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh and this always leads to renewed interest in my post about the time I was lucky enough to be invited.
After Vikings and the Krakow, Wieliczka Salt Mine the post is my third most visited with fifteen thousand hits Most people reading the post arrive there by way of Google with simple search questions like ‘Royal Garden Party’, ‘how to get an invite to a Royal Garden Party’, ‘Dress code at a Royal Garden Party’, etc. etc.
Some of them however really make me giggle! This one for example: ‘Buckingham Palace Garden Party, where to get changed?’ I think it is good enough of the Queen to invite people to trample all over her back lawn without expecting her to provide changing facilities as well, can you imagine the queue of people trying to get into Her Majesty’s en-suite! And then there is this one – “do people travel in the clothes they wear to royal garden party?”
The answer is simple, if you are staying in a hotel overnight then get changed around about midday and then get a taxi to the Palace but if you are travelling there on the day then I am afraid you will have to go in your finery and take appropriate abuse from teenagers and beggars on the Underground!
I rather liked this one recently – “how can I go to her majeztrys garden party” and I can only guess that this is from somebody from Poland where they don’t have a Royal family any more.
I also found this one amusing – “is there somewhere for guests to sit down at royal garden parties?” . Well, there is the throne room of course but it is unlikely that any one will get that opportunity – but of course there is somewhere to sit down, the Queen as more garden furniture than Home Depot, the Home Hardware Stores or B&Q.
What about this one – “bakingham palace London garden party invite” – presumably the enquirer thinks this is where they film the TV series – “The Great British Bake Off”!
If it Rains at a Royal Garden Party…
Just as last year I have spotted a couple of search questions relating to the weather. The first is “what do people wear for the royal garden party when it is raining” which is a question that if you have to ask means that you shouldn’t really be going but I will continue to try and be helpful and suggest a smart raincoat or mackintosh, a sensible hat and appropriate shoes but however bad the weather is don’t expect to be allowed inside in a North Face kagool or a sou’wester and a pair of wellington boots!
My favourite still remains: ‘If raining does Royal Garden Party move indoors?’ which has to be one of the dumbest search questions that I have ever fallen off my chair laughing at.
There are 8,000 guests at a Royal Garden Party and although the Palace is huge (77,000 square metres) I am fairly certain that the Queen wouldn’t want 8,000 damp people in muddy shoes and wet clothes wandering around over the royal carpets, pilfering the treasures and helping themselves to the gin! I cannot get this vision out of my head of the Queen making an announcement from the back door, ‘oh do please come inside all of you, you’ll catch your death of cold out there’ or perhaps the more direct Prince Philip, ‘Don’t stand out there getting wet you silly buggers, bloody well come inside!’
Bad weather at a Royal Garden Party isn’t unusual however and there have been washouts in 1931, 1937, 1944, 2000 and 2009. In 1996 a bolt of lightning hit the garden and two people were burnt and injured. And it isn’t just rain that can spoil the day because in 1958 there was a heat wave and it was so hot that several guests collapsed with heat stroke and had to be treated in hospital. There was no such thing as sun protection cream in 1958!