Charles Hosts BP Garden Party

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The Prince of Wales hosted today’s garden party at Buckingham Palace on the Queen’s behalf, with the Duchess of Cornwall and the Princess Royal by his side. These gatherings have been held at the Palace every spring since the reign of Queen Victoria, while there’s a corresponding party at Holyroodhouse when the Queen’s in Scotland in July.

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They have slowly but surely evolved into an opportunity for the Royal Family to recognize guests for notable public service, and run the gamut of the arts, athletics, and industry. And if nothing else, these parties offer a great hat-watching opportunity:

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As I noted yesterday, there aren’t any reports that the Queen is under the weather, and Charles stepping in today is instead believed to be yet another example of him taking on more and more of his mother’s public duties.  He similarly hosted one of  the garden parties last year (with Camilla and Princess Anne also on hand).

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Generally, senior members of the RF spread out their appearances throughout May, with various assortments of more junior members joining them. Today was somewhat notable in that we saw three senior royals and no junior royals, though it’s worth mentioning that the Earl and Countess of Wessex, Princess Beatrice, Anne, and the Duke of Gloucester did attend the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Gold Standard reception on Monday.

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On the fashion front, Camilla is wearing a dress by Bruce Oldfield, and I have to say she has absolutely been killing it lately. I thought she looked fantastic during her and Charles’s recent trip to Germany, and today is another win in my book.

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I also want to call out a rather sweet Camilla anecdote I stumbled across yesterday. A German blogger who runs a Tumblr called “Camillasgirl” was specially invited by Camilla to attend a reception during the couple’s tour, and met both of them. A snippet from one article that covered it:

When Tanja and her friend Kristina arrived at the venue, the two friends recognized royal photographer Arthur Edwards of The Sun newspaper and were delighted to meet him. “We were so excited—I mean, who doesn’t love Arthur Edwards?,” she wrote.

However, the crown jewel of this visit was when Tanja met her muse Duchess Camilla.”As soon as the books were signed Camilla went over to me!!! You can probably imagine how happy and excited I was. Camilla was wonderful and she even introduced me to Charles, who knew about my blog as well,” Tanja wrote.

She added: “He actually told me that I was ‘very kind’ and had done ‘a lot of good things.'”

Tanja capped off her royal meeting with a quick photoshoot lensed by Edwards, a surreal experience for her. She also added that the Duchess is “incredibly kind and nice and so beautiful,” and someone who “just lights up everything,” and is “able to put people at ease.”

Adorable. I should also note that more than a few of the reporters covering the family often say Camilla is one of the nicest and easiest-going royals. No surprises here – Charles is low-key my favorite, and I’ve been consistently impressed by Camilla since she joined the family in 2005.

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As for what comes next, the Chelsea Flower Show Preview Day is Monday, and another two garden parties are slated for next Tuesday and Thursday. In the meantime, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are celebrating their one-year anniversary on Sunday, which is more than a little mind-blowing.

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