The British crown is preparing to celebrate the coronation of Charles and Camilla with a series of official events. Two Garden Parties will be held in the gardens of Buckingham Palace, and one at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.
The first of these annual Garden Parties took place on May 3, 2023, and was attended by members of the British royal family, including the King, the Queen Consort, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, and the Duke of Kent.
To mark the occasion, the Royal Voluntary Service launched the Coronation Champions Awards in February 2023, with Camilla’s support, to honor outstanding volunteers across the country. The 500 volunteers selected as the nation’s Coronation Champions were invited to attend one of the official Coronation celebrations and the Coronation Garden Party.
What are Garden Parties?
Garden Parties have been a British tradition since the reign of Queen Victoria. They are an important way for members of the royal family to connect with people from all walks of life who have had a positive impact on their communities.
Guests are selected through a long-established network of sponsors, including Lord-Lieutenants, societies and associations, government departments, local government, services, and the church, among others. This network nominates guests, aiming for a cross-section of the community.
On the day of the Garden Party, the gates of the Palace open around 3 p.m. and the party officially begins when members of the royal family enter the garden at 4 p.m., at which time one of the two military bands present plays the National Anthem. As the bands continue to play a selection of music, members of the royal family circulate among the guests through lanes. Each takes a different path and random introductions are made so that everyone has an equal opportunity to speak with a member of the royal family. Next, members of the royal family arrive at the Royal Tea Tent, where they join other guests. Everyone present is free to eat, drink and stroll around the beautiful Palace gardens.
There is no doubt that the Garden Parties are a unique opportunity for members of the British royal family to connect with people and honor exceptional volunteers across the country. With the focus on celebrating the coronation of the King and Queen Consort, these events are a showcase of the royal family’s commitment to the community.