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© Surrey Lieutenancy 2016

Every summer, The Queen hosts at least three garden parties at Buckingham Palace. Approximately 8,000 guests attend each one. People from all walks of life are invited on the recommendation of a large number of national organisations.

The Lord-Lieutenants in each county, together with the government and organisations such as the Civil Service, Armed Services, Diplomatic Corps, charities and societies, are all invited to make nominations (individuals cannot apply for an invitation). This ensures that a representative cross-section of the community in Surrey – as in all other counties – is invited and that guests are generally people who have contributed a large amount to their various organisations or society in this county. It is rare for people to be invited more than once.

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied by other members of the Royal Family, enter the garden at 4.00 pm, when the National Anthem is played by a military band. Tea and other refreshments are served and guests are invited to walk around the extensive gardens.

Most people like to dress up for their special day. Gentlemen wear morning dress or lounge suits, while women wear afternoon dress, usually with hats or fascinators. National dress and uniform are also often worn.

View a video about The Queen’s Garden Parties.