Today, the Prince of Wales hosted the season’s third official garden party at Buckingham Palace on behalf of his mother, the Queen. This is the first time that he’s taken on hosting duties for one of these parties and it’s yet another sign of him shouldering more of the monarch’s duties as the Queen gets older. We will, however, see the Queen at Scotland’s annual garden party at Holyrood Palace the first week of July.
Before we get into this afternoon, there are two announcements from yesterday worth catching up on. The first is that Kensington Palace confirmed that the Invictus Games will be held in The Hague in 2020, with the event moving to every other year in an attempt to keep it going long-term. The news follows rumors that the Duke of Sussex will be making a trip to the Netherlands this summer, and while it’s not known if the Duchess will accompany him, it’s entirely likely.
Secondly, an away day for the Queen in Chester was put on the books for Thursday, June 14. It will encompass three separate engagements and HM will be joined by none other than Meghan in her first slew of public appearances without Harry. Worth noting is that while, yes, Meghan will be sans husband, this is not a “solo” engagement – these are the Queen’s engagements and Meghan is supporting her. It’s a sign of being fully welcomed into the fold, and it’s also quite likely part of ongoing work to show Meghan the ropes. Regardless, it’ll be an exciting day and yet another “first” for the newest member of the House of Windsor.
On that note, Harry and Meghan are definitely back from their honeymoon (still no word on the location). Harry took a meeting with the Duke of Cambridge earlier this week, so they appear to be back to the grindstone. The entire Royal Family will be on view this Saturday for Trooping the Colour, while rumor has it that Prince Louis’s christening will be announced for later this month.
Now, turning back to today: Charles hosted today’s garden party alongside his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, and his sister, the Princess Royal. Also attending was the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Kent and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.
The garden parties serve as a way for the BRF to meet and mingle with a wide array of people, and while the events are invite-only of course, they do bring 30,000 additional guests to Buckingham Palace each year. Among them are those singled out for their public work and community service.
Today, for example, Charles was photographed meeting Karen Gibson, head of the Kingdom Choir, who performed at last month’s royal wedding (also pictured up to).
The RF has been keen to highlight the historical nature of these gatherings this year, and below is one of several images shared on social media/their website of a typical spring garden party from the 19th century:
And with that, we will continue using this quieter week to focus on a few more historical posts before Saturday. There are two more posts on Henry VIII’s divorce scheduled for tomorrow and Thursday, and on Sunday I’m aiming to cover the machinations of the English Reformation itself in the mid-1530s. So, fingers crossed everything goes according to plan(!)