Tag Archives: Royal Garden Party

It’s Nice To Feel Useful (6)

Queen Elizabeth

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.

The post is my third most visited with ten thousand, five hundred 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!  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’m afraid you will have to go in your finery and take appropriate abuse from teenagers and beggars on the Underground!

This year I have spotted a couple of search questions relating to the weather.  The first is ‘rainwear for Buckingham Palace Garden Parties?’  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 for this year (so far) however is this: ‘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 PhillipDon’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!

Read the full story…

heavy rain at the garden party

* Holyrood Palace remains for now the official residence of the Queen in Scotland but I suspect if Alex Salmond gets his own way in September in the independence referendum he’ll be looking to move in there himself while the obnoxious Nicola Sturgeon will no doubt be thinking about Balmoral!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Letters

Palace Invite 3

A Letter from the Palace…

One day I returned home from work to find a very posh envelope among the usual bills and letters that had been delivered that morning.  It was very classy indeed, ivory white with a smooth velour texture and certainly of a much higher quality than I am generally used to receiving.

On the front were the words the ‘Office of the Lord Chamberlain’ and the printed franking machine mark in the top right hand corner said ‘Buckingham Palace, London’.

Now, I don’t receive mail from Buckingham Palace everyday so I was naturally intrigued.

Inside the envelope there was even more special stationery and an expensive invitation card from the Lord Chamberlain himself stating that he has been commanded by her Majesty to invite me and a guest to a Royal tea party at the Palace.

Commanded no less!

Read the full story…

Review of The Year – 2013

Writing Paper and Pen

Please excuse me a self-indulgent blog to begin the new year as I look back over the previous one.

The top ten most hit blog pages in 2013 on my Travel Blog have mostly surprised me but then I don’t understand how search engines work.  I say hit blog pages rather than read because I am neither conceited enough of sufficiently naive to claim that a hit equals a read.

In 2012 the blog recorded 170,889 hits and the upward trend continued into January and I was optimistic that this number was just going to keep going up but then Google changed their search criteria it stopped and fell back and has never recovered.  I have finished the year with less than half of the previous year total with only 79,450 hits but in November I did manage to limp past half a million in total.

These are the Top Ten blogs of 2013:

No. 1 

Krakow,  Salt Mine

Cathedral Wieliczka Salt Mine

First posted on April 6th 2010

This post is up from number 3 in 2012 to number 1 this year with 5,030 hits. I posted this in April 2010 after returning from a visit to Krakow in Poland.  It was a good trip but I am not sure why so many people would hit on it.  It is not as interesting as my trip to Auschwitz or the Crazy Mike Communist Tour.

No. 2

Mount Vesuvius

Vesuvius still smoking and active

First posted on March 25th 2010

4,220 hits and a second year in the Top Ten and up three places.  A bit of a surprise because this is the account of a day trip to Mount Vesuvius whilst on a holiday to Sorrento in 1976 with my dad.  From my memories of the same holiday I posted several blogs about visits to CapriNaplesPompeiiThe Amalfi Drive and Rome but these have only achieved a handful of hits between them.

No. 3

Moscow and Lenin’s Mausoleum

Lenin Mausoleum

First posted on July 6th 2012

Strait in this one at number 3 with 1,740 hits.  Cameras and mobile phones are strictly forbidden because the authorities don’t want snapshots of Comrade Lenin turning up on the internet in peoples’ Blogs or Trip Advisor reviews so they have to be left in a locker room and if anyone tries to defy this and is caught by the thorough security checks then there punishment is to be sent to the back of the queue!  It seems however that a couple of visitors have somehow sneaked a camera in and I found the pictures through Google and I assume people find my post in the same way.

No. 4

Norway, Europe’s most Expensive Country

epcot-norway-viking

First posted on February 15th 2011

1,510 hits – that’s about 2,000 less than the previous year but still holding on to fourth place.  This was a second blog about my trip to Haugesund in January 2011. It contains some interesting facts and figures which might explain the number of hits that it has received but I am not really convinced that this is the reason unless top European economists are using it for research purposes!

No. 5

Travel Journal 2

Fifth place with 1,060 hits and which demonstrates the importance of an About page.

No. 6

Royal Garden Party

Palace Invite 3

First posted on June 26th 2009 and therefore the oldest post in the top ten.

1,000 hits and staying in the Top Ten and up one place from number 7.  This one has always been popular especially around the Spring and Summer when invitations to the Royal Garden Party are going out and when people are wondering how to get one or what to wear if they have one.

No. 7

Travel Tips when Flying Budget Airlines

Ryanair over the Alps

First posted on August 2nd 2011.

940  hits and also going up one place.  I first wrote on this subject in 2009 and it immediately started getting hundreds of hits and then in 2011 it just stopped completely.  I reviewed and reposted it and changed the title from the specific ‘Travel Tips when Flying Ryanair’ to the more general title that it has now and hey presto the hits started coming again.

No. 8

Twelve Treasures of Spain – Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Sagrada Familia Cathedral Barcelona

First posted on March 2nd 2013 so the most recent post in the top ten so at under a year I will be interested to see what happens to this one in 2014.

With 750 posts a newcomer in the top 10 this year.  The “Twelve Treasures of the Kingdom of Spain” was a contest/poll that was conducted by the Spanish Television Company Antena 3 and the radio broadcaster Cope. The final results were announced on 31st December 2007.  I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the eight out of the twelve that I have visited.  Tenth in the competition and the final Cathedral in the list is the unfinished Gaudi masterpiece Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

No. 9

Onyx UK and an Inappropriate Visit to the Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge Naked Dancers

First posted on August 23rd 2011.

Another post devastated by Google changes and only 696 this year so dropping like a stone from number 2 to number 9. I have written a few times about my recollections of working in waste management in the private sector in the 1990s.  All of the posts manage a respectable number of hits but this one gets the most.  I don’t suppose for one minute that people are interested in my stories of mismanagement, incompetence and rubbish collection but they do like to read about dancing on a nightclub stage in Paris.

No. 10

Sorrento, Mount Vesuvius – Living on the Edge of Disaster

52 Naples

First posted on March 23rd 2013, two days before the Vesuvius post at no. 2.

This one surprised me with 690 hits and a first show in the annual top ten because it is an old post from May 2010 which only goes to show that old material sometimes has legs.

There is a famous phrase that says ‘See Naples and die!’ which originated under the Bourbon regime and means that before you die you must experience the beauty and magnificence of Naples.  Some, less charitable, now say that the city is so mad, dangerous and polluted that death might possibly be a consequence of a visit there and my post is about Vesuvius, Pollution, Pizzas and Crime!

If you have read one of these posts or any of the 1,140 others on my site ‘Have Bag, Will Travel’then thank you very much!  I guess it proves that George Bailey (It’s A Wonderful Life) was right when he said: “The three most exciting sounds in the world are anchor chains, plane motors and train whistles.”  

Dropping out of the Top Ten this year were:  Norway, Haugesund and the Vikings,  Pula, Croatia and Onyx UK and the Dog Poo Solution

Vikings

Roman Amphitheatre Pula Croatia  Dog Mess Solution

And just ‘bubbling under’ …

Alternative Twelve Treasures of Spain – Antoni GaudiGermany, Triberg the Cuckoo Clock Capital of the WorldTwelve Treasures of Spain – Seville Cathedral and Russia, Tsars in our Eyes – The Grand Palace at Peterhof

Weekly Photo Challenge: Culture

Queen Elizabeth

The Royal Garden Party:

One day in May I returned home from work to find a very posh envelope amongst the bills and circulars that had been delivered that morning.  It was very classy indeed, ivory white with a smooth velour texture and certainly of a much higher quality than I am generally used to receiving.  On the front were the words the ‘Office of the Lord Chamberlain’ and the printed franking machine mark in the top right hand corner said ‘Buckingham Palace, London’

Now, I don’t receive mail from Buckingham Palace everyday so I was naturally intrigued.

Read the full story…

Review of the Year 2012

Writing Paper and Pen

Please excuse me a self-indulgent blog to begin the new year.  The top ten most hit blog pages in 2012 on my Travel Blog have mostly surprised me but then I don’t understand how search engines work.  I say hit blog pages rather than read because I am neither conceited enough of sufficiently naive to claim that a hit equals a read.

In 2011 the blog recorded 151,493 hits and the upward trend continued until May when there were 17,845 in one month and I was optimistic that this number was just going to keep going up but then it stopped and fell back and has never recovered.  I have finished the year with 170,900 hits which is an increase of 13%.

A reason for this may be that I have been removing old posts and archiving them in a separate blog called ‘Another Bag, More Travel’.  The main blog was running out of space so being a skinflint and not wanting to pay for extra space this was my cunning solution.  This blog has recorded 43,600 hits so if I add them together then the annual increase on my travel blog pages is increased to 43% which is much more respectable.

This however is nowhere near as good as performance on my memories blog ‘New Light through Old Windows’ which has increased by 84% from 100,671 views in 2011 to 185,700 in 2012.

These are the Top Ten blogs of 2012:

No. 1 (for the second year running)

Norway, Haugesund and the Vikings.  

Minnesota Vikings

I travelled to Haugesund in January 2011 and visited a Viking monument and blogged about it.  This post has had 14,755 hits which is over 10,000 more than the post in second place.  Over 9,000 hits have been recorded from the single word ‘Vikings’ in various search engines!  I have concluded that this is because there are a lot of people using the search engines to find content about the Minnesota Vikings American Football Team and they are probably disappointed when they come across my page about a wintery day spent next to the North Sea in Norway. Without any shame I have exploited this opportunity by adding a paragraph about the Minnesota Vikings.

No. 2

Onyx UK and an Inappropriate Visit to the Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge Naked Dancers

Straight in at no. 2 with 4,416 hits.  I have written a few times about my recollections of working in waste management in the private sector in the 1990s.  All of the posts manage a respectable number of hits but this one gets the most.  I don’t suppose for one minute that people are interested in my stories of mismanagement, incompetence and rubbish collection but they do like to read about dancing on a nightclub stage in Paris.

No. 3

Krakow, Wieliczka Salt Mine

Dropping a place from last year at No 2 with 4,342 hits. I posted this in April 2010 after returning from a visit to Krakow in Poland.  It was a good trip but I am not sure why so many people would hit on it.  It is not as interesting as my trip to Auschwitz or the Crazy Mike Communist Tour.

No. 4

Norway, Europe’s most Expensive Country

Haugesund Norway

3,975 hits and up from eighth to fourth place  This was a second blog about my trip to Haugesund in January 2011. It contains some interesting facts and figures which might explain the number of hits that it has received but I am not really convinced that this is the reason unless top European economists are using it for research purposes!

No. 5

Mount Vesuvius

3,326 hits and a second year in the Top Ten and up two places.  A bit of a surprise because this is the account of a day trip to Mount Vesuvius whilst on a holiday to Sorrento in 1976 with my dad.  From my memories of the same holiday I posted several blogs about visits to CapriNaplesPompeiiThe Amalfi Drive and Rome but these have only achieved a handful of hits between them.

No. 6

Pula, Croatia

Pula Amphitheatre Croatia

2,916 hits – twice as many as 2011.  A bit of a mystery to me how this one gets so many visits.  I have blogged two or three times about Roman Amphitheatres – RomeArlesMeridaSegobriga and about larger Croatian cities at Dubrovnik and Split but this one gets the hits and I don’t know why?  The Pula is the national currency of Botswana so perhaps they are intended as exchange rate enquiries?

No. 7

Royal Garden Party

Palace Invite 3

2,625 hits and staying in the Top Ten despite dropping 3 places from last year at no. 4.  This one has always been popular especially around the Spring and Summer when invitations to the Royal Garden Party are going out and when people are wondering how to get one or what to wear if they have one.

No. 8

Travel Tips when Flying Budget Airlines

1,800 hits and new this year.  I first wrote on this subject in 2009 and it immediately started getting hundreds of hits and then in 2011 it just stopped completely.  I reviewed and reposted it and changed the title from the specific ‘Travel Tips when Flying Ryanair’ to the more general title that it has now and hey presto the hits started coming again.

No. 9

Onyx UK and the Dog Poo Solution

The third new entry in the Top Ten this year with 1,7066 hits and the second post about life in the Waste Management industry.  Some people have accused me of writing crap but others clearly like to read about it!

No. 10

Andrew – The About Page

The final new entry this year with 1,358 hits and which demonstrates the importance of an About page.

If you have read one of these posts or any of the 921 others on my site ‘Have Bag, Will Travel’then Thank you very much!  I guess it proves that George Bailey (It’s A Wonderful Life) was right when he said:“The three most exciting sounds in the world are anchor chains, plane motors and train whistles.”  

Dropping out of the Top Ten this year were: The Colossus of Rhodes, Cofete Beach, Spartacus the Gladiator and Love Locks on the Ponte Vecchio

Afternoon Tea With Her Majesty The Queen

Palace Invite 3

One day in May I returned home from work to find a very posh envelope amongst the bills and circulars that had been delivered that morning.  It was very classy indeed, ivory white with a smooth velour texture and certainly of a much higher quality than I am generally used to receiving.  On the front were the words the ‘Office of the Lord Chamberlain’ and the printed franking machine mark in the top right hand corner said ‘Buckingham Palace, London’.  Now, I don’t receive mail from Buckingham Palace everyday so I was naturally intrigued.

Read More…

Royal Garden Party – The Rain of Queen Elizabeth

Rain of Queen Elizabeth

Rain at the Royal Garden Party…

I didn’t get an invite to the Royal Garden party this year because no one is supposed to get a second one.  It was lucky for me that I went last year because this year the first party of the year was severely disrupted by rain.

Someone I know went and he told me that it didn’t really spoil the day because he had already eaten his plate of fourteen sandwiches and cakes that the royal kitchen estimates that each guest consumes and he had seen the Queen by the time the bad weather moved in and he was forced to shelter under one of the large trees in the Palace garden.

He also conceded however that it would have been better without the drenching.

The Queen’s eight thousand guests, most of whom had dressed for warmer weather in fine hats and summer frocks, had to dash for shelter when the summer tea party was hit by torrential downpours.  Half an inch of rain fell in just ten minutes and in all three inches fell in the storm that hit London in the late afternoon.  Hail stones, some almost half an inch wide, left the lawns of the royal residence white with ice and some of the visitors had to be carried from the garden over huge puddles that formed on the gravel paths.

Queen Elizabeth

Luckily, Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh had completed their walkabout before the early evening downpour and managed to stay dry but as lightning approached, staff decided to evacuate the Queen and the royal party, which included the Duke of Edinburgh, the Duke of York and the Duke of Gloucester, back to the safety of the Palace

Queen with umbrella

Bad weather at a Royal Garden Party…

Bad weather isn’t unusual however and there have been previous washouts in 1931, 1937, 1944 and 2000.  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 sun protection cream in 1958!

I am afraid that there is not much one can do about bad weather and if it rains then I am afraid that guests are just going to get wet.   There is a pavilion tent for the Queen and her family and a large tent where the sandwiches are served but there is not nearly enough room in there for everyone.

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 PhilipDon’t stand out there getting wet you silly buggers, bloody well come inside!’

heavy rain at the garden party

Royal Garden Party

Buckingham Palace Garden Party Invitation

Tea With The Queen

One day I returned home from work to find a very posh envelope among the usual bills and circulars that had been delivered that morning.  It was very classy indeed, stiff as card, ivory white with a smooth velour texture and certainly of a much higher quality than I am generally used to receiving.  On the front were the words the ‘Office of the Lord Chamberlain’ and the printed franking machine mark in the top right hand corner said ‘Buckingham Palace, London’.

Now, I don’t receive mail from Buckingham Palace everyday so I was naturally intrigued.

Inside the envelope there was even more special stationery and an expensive invitation card from the Lord Chamberlain himself stating that he has been commanded by her Majesty to invite me and a guest to a Royal garden party at the Palace.   Commanded no less!  The Lord Chamberlain is one of the chief officers of the Royal Household, he is a peer of the Realm and a Privy Councillor and is the chief functionary of the court who is generally responsible for organising all court functions.  The current Lord Chamberlain is William Peel, who has held the position since October 2006 and he is a very important man indeed.

Queen-garden-party1--a

How to get an Invitation to a Royal Garden Party…

Ordinary people like me don’t get letters from the Lord Chamberlain everyday and let’s make this absolutely clear, these invitations aren’t just handed out to any old riff-raff.  Getting an invite to Buckingham Palace isn’t easy because individuals cannot simply apply for an invitation to a garden party because nominations are made through Lord Lieutenants, and organisations such as the Civil Service, Armed Services, Diplomatic Corps, charities and societies and people are only allowed to attend one tea party in their lifetime.

What to wear to a Royal Garden Party…

As well as the invitation there was also information on dress code, suits, day dresses and hats, uniforms, but no medals and I took this to include my Boy Scout and cycling proficiency badges.  No cameras or mobile phones and useful security information and tips on how best to enjoy the day.

royal-garden-party

The tradition of throwing open the royal residences dates back to the 1860s, when Queen Victoria held what were then known as afternoon ‘breakfasts’.  It has carried on ever since and during the present Queen’s reign, over a million people have attended garden parties at either Buckingham Palace or at the Palace of Holyrood House, which is her official residence in Scotland.

We travelled down to London by train on the previous evening and stayed at a nice hotel in Bayswater called the Ambassadors that I paid for using my Airmiles points.  We had a pleasant evening out and something to eat in the hotel’s Italian restaurant and a comfortable night and a really excellent breakfast in the morning.

I had no idea that Sally had never properly been to London before so we took the underground to Westminster and quickly did the sights.  The Catholic Westminster Cathedral was very good and free but the Protestant Westminster Abbey was £12 so we just looked at the outside and concluded that Roman Catholicism is better value for money.

Next we walked down Whitehall and craned our necks through the security railings into Downing Street, went into Horseguards Parade and finished at Trafalgar Square and then returned to the hotel and changed and prepared for the big event.  Attending a Royal tea party isn’t cheap of course because this little outing cost me a new outfit for Sally, but it was worth it and she looked fabulous in her new dress and hat.

Visiting Buckingham Palace…

Dressed in our finest clothes and looking our best it didn’t seem appropriate to travel to the Palace by underground train so we ordered a cab and drove through the sights of central London to the Palace and the queue of people waiting to get past security and into the gardens.   Like most guests, I imagine, I am proud to boast that I’ve had tea with the queen but I should point out that there were another 7,999 other people there as well.  With all of the security checks to go through, each guest producing a passport and one other form of identity this was quite a slow process, but the weather was fine and everyone was in good humour as we lined up and waited our turn to be admitted.

The Palace was originally known as Buckingham House and was a large town house built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703 and acquired by King George III in 1761.  It was enlarged over the next seventy-five years and Buckingham Palace finally became the official royal palace of the British monarch on the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837.  Like most people I have stood outside it and gawked through the railings but I have never before been inside.

royal garden party

To get to the gardens we had to pass through the Palace itself and once through and inside the garden it was a wonderful experience and I imagine that tea with the queen today looked very much the same as it would have one hundred and fifty years ago; men in tails and top hats, women in floral dresses and elaborate hats and it reminded me of a scene from a nineteenth century painting of a sophisticated social event.  And so many military uniforms that it was almost like being in an episode of Foyle’s War!

The eight-thousand guests are all vetted of course before the event because the Queen doesn’t want any undesirable republicans or out-spoken anti-monarchists wandering around her back garden spreading sedition and the place was full of people enjoying a once in a lifetime experience.  I doubt if Jeremy Corbyn will ever get an invite.

Buckingham Palace Gardens…

The magnificent gardens sit on forty-two acres in the heart of central London and walking outside behind the Palace the vast garden is a revelation because it is festive and filled with colour and the lake at its centrepiece features weeping willow branches gently grazing the water and ducks flying free.  What is most noticeable is that it is peaceful and serene, except for the chatter of eight thousand people of course, because as if by magic the sounds of the city do not intrude and it is hard to believe this is in the centre of the busy city.  The gardens are immaculate and goodness knows what the head gardener makes of all these people stampeding over his manicured lawns and falling into his flowerbeds.  I expect they give him the day off so that he doesn’t get too upset.

Actually I don’t think the Queen puts the garden to best use because there is enough room there to have a nice nine-hole par three golf course and I am surprised that Prince Andrew has had something to say about that.

Sandwiches and Cake at Buckingham Palace…

The food tents were open for business now and this seemed an opportune moment to make an early dash for the guest’s tea tent to be among the first to enjoy the hospitality.  Actually there was no need to rush because there was plenty of food to go round and the tables looked pristine and immaculate.  I especially liked the little chocolates decorated with the queen’s crown and I was tempted to put a couple in my pocket as souvenirs but the sun was out now and they would have surely melted and made an awful mess of my suit jacket.

At a typical tea party, the kitchens prepare, and the guests consume, more than twenty-seven thousand cups of Twining’s ‘garden party’ tea, as well as more than twenty-thousand carefully trimmed sandwiches (crusts are far too common) and a similar number of delicious slices of cake, so there is plenty for everyone and enough left over to give the ducks a treat as well.

The plates were a cunning design with a place for the tea-cup and just about enough room for a couple of sandwiches and two slices of cake which prevented anyone taking too much food.  Despite this however the Royal Household estimates that each guest eats on average fourteen portions of sandwich and cake.

Cakes at Royal Garden Party

After a short wait the band struck up “God Save the Queen” and her Majesty, dressed immaculately in a pale blue floral print two-piece and matching hat appeared on the front steps with Prince Philip and various others, standing motionless in front of the huge crowd.  As the music died down there was a spontaneous ripple of polite applause and the Royal party made their way past the Tudor Red Beefeaters separately into the gardens and along the double lines of guests.

An audience with the Queen…

Most people don’t get close enough to the Queen to meet her, but luckily we choose the right line and we did get a chance to see her up close as she walked along the lines of smiling people stopping every now and again to shake hands and chat with specially selected guests and one in particular who stood and chatted to her barely two metres away from us.

With all the queuing up and pushing and shoving to see the Queen the afternoon passed unexpectedly quickly.  As the plates were quite small this meant we had to make two visits to the tea tent and had to go through the whole lining up process again.  Eventually there was a flurry of activity around the Royal tent and her Majesty was on the move again coming back outside and walking ponderously back towards the Palace stopping every so often to shake a hand here or have a word there and eventually Prince Philip began to lag behind as he was much more prepared to enter longer conversations.  Back at the top of the steps and outside the Palace back door the band once more played the National Anthem and they were gone.

I hadn’t really known what to expect from an invitation to a Royal tea party and although I hadn’t really met the Queen of course I really rather enjoyed it in a snobbish sort of way.  We joined the crowds making for the exits and once outside travelled back to the hotel to collect our bags and make for the station and the train journey home at the end of an excellent day.

See also https://apetcher.wordpress.com/2009/07/09/the-rain-of-queen-elizabeth/

http://cllrwellbelove.wordpress.com/2009/07/14/buckinghampalacegardenparty/

 Queen Elizabeth

What to wear to a Royal Garden Party…

For men this is relatively straight forward.  If you are a serving member of the armed forces then wear your uniform but make sure you take off the medals – apparently the Queen is not that impressed with a Victoria Cross dangling from the left breast pocket.  If you are not a soldier or a sailor then just wear a smart suit.

For a lady guest, wear a nice, but expensive, summer dress but make sure this covers up any unsightly tattoos, I don’t imagine that HRH approves of Indian chiefs or snarling skull body art.  A hat is a good idea but if it is rainy then just downsize to a fascinator or something that won’t blow away because chasing a hat across Buckingham Palace lawns is undignified.

Always take an umbrella just in case!

 Palace Invite 3