Queen's Body Guard
Royal Garden Parties are held during the summer, at least three times a year at Buckingham Palace and one at the Palace of Holyrood house in Edinburgh and are attended by 30,000 people. Royal Garden Parties have been held at Buckingham Palace since the 1860s. In the 1950s the number of Royal Garden Parties held at Buckingham Palace was increased from two to three a year. The extra Royal Garden Parties took the place of presentation parties. In some years, The Queen gives an additional Royal Garden Party to honour a large national organisation celebrating a special anniversary, such as the Red Cross or, for example, to mark the Year of the Disabled. In 1997 The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh hosted a Royal Garden Party for couples sharing their Golden Wedding anniversary (50 years) with them. In 1998, a special Royal Garden Party celebrated the 50th anniversary of the founding of the National Health Service: the guests were serving or past-serving members from all parts of the Health Service.
People from all sections of the community are
invited to Royal Garden Parties, usually through organisations with lists on a
prearranged quota (e.g. the Government, Armed Services, Diplomatic Corps,
charities and societies) to ensure that a representative cross-section of the
national life is invited. (For this reason individuals cannot apply for an
invitation.) Invitations to Royal Garden Parties are sent out by the
Chamberlain on behalf of The Queen, all the arrangements are planned by the Lord
Chamberlain's Office. Gentlemen wear morning dress, lounge suits or uniform;
ladies wear afternoon dress (usually with hats). National dress can also be
worn. Approximately 8,000 guests attend each Royal Garden Party, which takes
place between 4.00 pm and 6.00 pm. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh,
accompanied by other members of the Royal family, circulate among the guests
after the National Anthem has been played.
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