Every summer, The Queen hosts three Garden Parties at Buckingham Palace, and one at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Scotland. Historically, Garden Parties took the place of presentation parties attended by debutantes, and have evolved into a way of recognising and rewarding public service.
Over the course of each year, The Queen welcomes over 30,000 guests to spend a relaxed summer afternoon in the beautiful gardens of Buckingham Palace or the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
At each Garden Party, around 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cake are consumed! Garden Parties are an important way for The Queen to speak to a broad range of people from all walks of life, all of whom have made a positive impact in their community.
Throughout the country, a long-established network of sponsors is used to invite guests, who include Lord-Lieutenants, Societies and Associations, Government Departments, Local Government, the Services, the Church and other Faiths.
Last week Prince Charles of Wales hosted the first part of this year on behalf of Queen.
On the day of the Garden Party, the Palace gates are open from around 3 pm. The Party officially begins when The Queen, accompanied by other Members of the Royal Family, enter the garden at 4 pm when the National Anthem is played by one of the two military bands present.
The royals greeting the guests.
The other members joining Queen, William and Catherine for Tuesday’s party were the Duke of York, Count and Countess of Wessex and Princess Alexandra. Today’s garden party was attended by 8000 guests.
Queen, William, Catherine and members of royal family circulated among the guests through ‘lanes’. Each takes a different route and random presentations are made so that everyone has an equal chance of speaking to Her Majesty and other Members of the Royal Family. Guests are free to eat, drink and stroll around the beautiful Palace gardens.
A lovely moment was captured by a guest Kate Stafford who shared it on social media. Duchess spoke in ‘Queen at 90’ documentary about how members of the royal family make jokes of her as she takes a long time during walkabouts and public greeting.
Kate got the chance to talk to Duchess.
For the day, once again putting the trust in her beloved label Alexander McQueen, Duchess chose a lovely coatdress of pink shade.
On Monday evening, Duchess of Cambridge was a bit nervous and quite excited. Her hard work of many months – her garden ‘Back to Nature‘ was on display at one of the most prominent events of the British Royal calendar – the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
Inspired from both of Cambridge residences – Kensington Palace and Anmer Hall, as well as the Duchess’ Childhood and her kid’s life, this woodland garden is a place to retreat from the world, to play, learn and discover as well as create special family memories.
About the garden, the RHS said, “The treehouse, the centrepiece of the garden, is constructed from a beautiful tree with a high platform clad in staghorn oak. A swing seat hangs from the branches, creating a place for children and families to play together. A waterfall and stream offer places to paddle, relax and build dams, while a hollow log presents a challenge of learning to balance as well as to climb“.
There is a pebble-lined stream that runs through the garden. The garden is filled with incredible edibles, plants for craft activities, forest scents and a diverse range of plants, shrubs and trees of different heights and textures.
Wild trees and shrubs and a cool calm colour palette of green and blue make this garden a relaxing and calming space, while the planting includes edible produce, plants for craft activities, food for wildlife and nectar to attract pollinators. A playful pathway bordered with beautiful foliage textures weaves through the garden, around the rocks and stepping stones.
The Duchess, who usually stays private, gave a candid interview in which she said,
“It really ties into some of the early years work I’ve been doing, and I’ve been really trying to learn about the impact, the importance and relationship of our early childhood experiences on our later adult life. An amazing fact I learned recently was that 90% of our adult brains are developed before that age of five. That’s why I think it’s so important that all of us whether we’re parents or carers or families members really engage in quality time with children and babies from a really, really young age. I really hope this woodland we’ve created, in a huge collaboration, really inspires families and kids and communities in general to get outside. Enjoy nature. Enjoy the outdoors and really spend quality time together”.
About her work and garden, Duchess also wrote a letter to the experts,
“In recent years I have focused much of my work on the early years, and how instrumental they are for outcomes later in life. I believe that spending time outdoors when we are young can play a role in laying the foundations for children to become happy, healthy adults. There are undoubtedly challenges in trying to bring about the transformation that will make positive change for generations to come, and help break the inter-generational cycle of disadvantage and trauma, yet I am inspired every day by the people I meet and am committed to supporting this endeavour. I hope my long-term commitment to working in the early years will help make a difference over a generational timescale”.
The RHS Back to Nature Garden is key to the RHS’s partnership with NHS England, promoting the physical and emotional wellbeing that access to green spaces and gardening provides. After RHS Chelsea Flower Show, much of the planting and some of the landscaping will go to an NHS Mental Health Trust, as part of a national competition run by the RHS.
Duchess was pretty nervous before the arrival of Her Majesty. Royal reporter Emily Andrews tweeted on twitter, “Before Her Majesty arrived, Kate quickly swept the garden for stray leaves and stuffed a dead branch into her handbag (& gave it to an aide) as there wasn’t a bin!
Kate’s last-minute sweep of her garden paid off. “It’s very tidy,” remarked the Queen as she walked past the perimeter. Her Majesty chuckled when William showed her the Reed boats Kate and the schoolkids have made earlier. Kate was endearingly nervous at first and William held back as she led“.
Duchess garden has some special childhood memories of Queen too. She included in her garden carrots and beetroot which Queen remembers planting as a girl.
Duchess introduced the team behind her garden to the Queen.
First time held in 1913, The RHS Chelsea Flower show is one of the most prominent events of Royal calendar as its one of Queen’s patronage. Duchess first attended Chelsea Flower Show in 2015.
It was not just Queen who enjoyed Duchess’ garden. Countess of Wessex Sophie was a sport too and visited the treehouse.
A video of the day.
Coming to the sartorial details, Catherine was looking lovely in Erdem Shebah Dress. Thanks to Danielle Stacey for the id.
Crafted from white cotton-silk voile the multicoloured floral print dress has Princess Diana’s favourite forget-me-nots flower print in it. The dress was described as, ” Showcasing the Victorian influence on the British label, this high-neck style is accented with white crocheted lace and raw-edge ruffled trim. High neck. Three-quarter-length sleeves”.
Duchess’ endeavour with gardens will continue. She will co-design two further RHS Gardens, having many of elements from her ‘Back to Nature’ garden at Chelsea, at RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival that will be held from July 2 to July 7 and RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey, which will open in the autumn this year.
On Monday morning, Duchess of Cambridge was back to Chelsea garden. But this visit was more special for her. She was there to see the final outcome of her RHS ‘Back to Nature’ Garden that she co-designed with award-winning Landscape Architects Andree Davies and Adam White, of Davies White Landscape Architects before it opens for public. Later in the evening, Duchess will join Her Majesty the Queen and members of the royal family to view the garden.
The Garden is a woodland setting for families and communities, and encourages all generations, from all backgrounds, to connect with nature and enjoy growing plants for their health and wellbeing and highlights how being active in nature can positively impact our physical and mental health.
The Duchess also took the opportunity to thank the incredible team of collaborators who have been involved in RHS ‘Back to Nature’ Garden project.
Catherine was joined by local schoolchildren for some outdoor activities, including reed boat baking and marshmallow toasting.
Palace shared a video of Duchess talking about her garden and its importance. Duchess said,
“It really ties into some of the early years work I’ve been doing and I’ve been really trying to learn about the impact, the importance and relationship of our early childhood experiences on our later adult life. An amazing fact I learned recently was that 90% of our adult brains are developed before that age of five. That’s why I think it’s so important that all of us whether we’re parents or carers or families members really engage in quality time with children and babies from a really, really young age. I hope that this woodland that we have created here really inspires families, kids and communities to get outside, enjoy nature and the outdoors and spend quality time together.”
During the visit, country girl Catherine took a turn to climb to the treehouse that is the centrepiece of the garden. The high platform treehouse is inspired by a bird or animal nest and provides a wonderful place to retreat and look out through the trees. The treehouse is made from chestnut, is hazel, staghorn oak and larch nest cladding.
Giving the amazing design another personal touch, Duchess chose boulder hopping in the Lake District as a treasured childhood memory.
Yesterday Palace released fantastic pictures and a video of Cambridge kids enjoying her mummy’s garden in which it was revealed that Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis have helped The Duchess gather moss, leaves and twigs to help decorate the Back to Nature Garden. Hazel sticks collected by the family were also used to make the garden’s den.
About Duchess visit Hello reported,
“The Duchess of Cambridge has admitted her children surprised her during their visit to her woodland garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. When she returned to the garden on Monday morning to show it to a group of schoolchildren, Kate revealed: “The children played last night in a way I hadn’t imagined. They were throwing stones. I hadn’t actually thought that that was what they would be doing”.
“They kicked their shoes off, and wanted to paddle in the stream… using it in a way that I hadn’t anticipated,” she added.As she helped children from two local primary schools make little boats from reeds and launch them into the stream, Kate got down on her knees and told them: “Now we need sticks to get these ones going”.