The Queen's Body Guard
of the Yeomen of the Guar

Garden Parties

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Ceremonial Duties
Detailed History     
The Officers

Ceremonial Role
Fighting Role
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Garden Parties 
Garter Services
Maundy Services 
Opening of Parliament
Royal Funerals 
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The Ambassadors



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 Lord 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.

Each member takes a different route and random presentations are made so that everyone has an equal opportunity to speak to The Queen and
members of the Royal family. During the Royal Garden Parties, two military bands take turns to play a selection of music. The Queen and other members of the Royal family arrive at the royal tea tent, where they meet other guests. In London, the Diplomatic Corps has its own tea tent, and in both London and Edinburgh there are tea tents for other guests. Tea and other refreshments are served (at a typical garden party, around 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cake are consumed), from a 408-feet long buffet. Some 400 waiting staff is involved in the serving.

At approximately 6pm, The Queen and other members of the Royal family leave the garden, when the National Anthem is played to mark the end of the Royal Garden Party. 

Edited from the Georgian Hotel Website -

Not Forgotten Association Garden Party

For the Yeomen of the Queen's Body Guard by far the most enjoyable garden party of the season is that of the Not Forgotten Association.  We have a chance to park our partisan and mingle with the heroes and celebrities.  This Annual Not Forgotten Association Garden Party at Buckingham Palace is one of their “flagship” events. By kind permission of Her Majesty The Queen they are allocated a Garden Party to which are invited serving wounded men and women, and war pensioners.

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Last modified: Tuesday, 11 February 2020 12:17