Why Prince Charles hosted the first garden party of the year instead of the Queen

The royals sure look like they know how to host a party!
prince charles and camilla bowles parkerGetty Images

As we bid farewell to warm weather here in New Zealand, the UK and the rest of the northern hemisphere are welcoming theirs with open arms in the form of some rather fancy garden parties, courtesy of the royal family.

Each year as summer approaches The Queen hosts up to three afternoon garden parties on the grounds of Buckingham Palace and one at Palace of Holyroodhouse in Scotland, with this year’s first garden party taking place at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday.

The members of the royal family make their entrance at the beginning of the garden party. (Image: Getty)

This year was a little different however, with the Queen, 93, passing the hosting responsibilities onto her eldest son Charles, The Prince of Wales.

The move comes after Queen Elizabeth has been slowly handing over many of her royal duties to senior members of the royal family over the past few years, such as handing over a number of her patronages, and with Prince Charles, the future King, attending many events on his mother’s behalf.

Wednesday’s first garden party of the year was attended by thousands of guests, which officially began at 4pm with the royal family member’s entrance accompanied by the National Anthem, played by one of the two military bands.

Accompanied by his wife, Duchess Camilla, and his sister, The Princess Royal, Prince Charles looked happy and dapper in a grey three-piece suit worn with a lilac tie and complete with a black top hat.

Host and the future King looked dapper in a three-piece suit. (Image: Getty)

Camilla looked dazzling in a summery white Bruce Oldfield dress accessorised with a Philip Treacy feather hat and a pearl necklace.

Meanwhile Princess Anne looked beautiful in a powder blue dress and matching jacket and hat.

Duchess Camilla looked beautiful in a white dress by Bruce Oldfield. (Image: Getty)

The garden parties, which have been held since the 1860s, are strictly invite only and while historically the parties took the place of presentation parties for debutants, the parties have now evolved to be a way to recognise and reward public service, and present an effective way for the Queen to interact with a broad range of different people at one time.

Each garden party is attended by different members of the royal family and according to the palace, at one garden party alone around 27,000 cups of tea are served and 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cake are consumed.

The next parties at the palace is set to take place on May 21 and May 29, with the Holyroodhouse party taking place on July 3.

Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla have just returned from a royal tour of Germany and have reportedly not yet met baby Archie, but are thought to be meeting their new grandson in the coming days.

The Queen and Prince Philip were the first members of the royal family to meet the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s first child, just two days after his birth and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge paid a visit to Frogmore Cottage on Tuesday.

Since Archie Harrison’s birth Prince Harry has been a doting, proud father from the get-go, excitedly talking about his newborn son and even admitting he already can’t imagine life without him.

Get your favourite magazines home delivered!  

Subscribe and save up to 38% on a magazine subscription.

Related stories