Royal Garden Parties
The Queen’s Garden Parties are held at Buckingham Palace, normally in July, at least three times a year with up to 8,000 guests invited to each. They take place between 3pm and 6pm. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied by other members of the Royal family, arrive at 4pm. Each member of the Royal Family takes a different route or position in the garden and members of the Corps of Gentlemen Ushers select random individuals for presentation. The dress is morning dress, lounge suits or uniform for gentlemen and day dress or trouser suits (usually with hats) for the ladies. National dress may be worn.
People from all sections of the community are invited, usually through organisations such as the Government, Armed Services, Diplomatic Corps, Police, Church and other Faiths, charities, societies and the Lord-Lieutenants, who nominate guests, within a quota. In this way a representative cross-section of the national life is invited. For this reason individuals cannot apply for an invitation and as a general rule people are only invited the once.
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.