Kate Middleton was among a host of royals standing in for the monarch, 96, who traditionally oversees four garden parties each summer but has bowed out of this year’s engagements amid ongoing mobility issues.
The annual garden parties, which are held between Buckingham Palace and Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, are a way for the monarch to celebrate and reward those who have distinguished themselves in public service. They require the royal hosts to spend more than an hour on their feet as they make their way through the crowd.
The Queen, who will celebrate her Platinum Jubilee next week, is increasingly relying on senior royals including Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince William to stand in her stead at high profile engagements.
However she has made a number of appearances over the past week – including visiting the Royal Chelsea Flower Show and opening the Elizabeth Line.
She was joined by the Earl and Countess of Wessex and Princess Beatrice at the event this afternoon, where the royals chatted with invited guests, who sheltered beneath umbrellas amid the drizzling rain.
The Duchess of Cambridge looked elegant in a mint green gown as she joined Prince William, the Earl and Countess of Wessex and Princess Beatrice to step in for the Queen to host a garden party at Buckingham Palace today
It’s raining cats and dogs! The Duchess sheltered beneath a pretty white parasol at she arrived at the garden party this afternoon in the drizzel
Despite the weather in London, the mother-of-three was in high spirits and could be seen beaming as she chatted to attendees of the garden party
Time for tea! The Duke and Duchess both appeared in high spirits as they stepped in to host the garden party for the Queen earlier this afternoon
Crowds appeared in high spirits at the event, despite the pouring rain in London, with many sheltering beneath umbrellas as they awaited the arrival of the royal family
The Duchess last wore the mint green gown for Prince Charles’ investiture anniversary in March 2019, when she paired it with nude accessories.
Today, she swept her hair, which had been carefully styled into loose waves, behind her shoulders and opted for a matching fascinator for the garden party.
Meanwhile she kept her makeup neutral, with a sweep of eyeliner and a touch of blusher on her cheeks.
Kate was joined by Sophie Wessex at the event, who also repeated an outfit from a previous event.
The Countess opted for a stunning blue midi gown by designer Emilia Wickstead, which she previously wore to Ascot.
Princess Beatrice was also in attendance at the event, where she wore a pretty checkered dress and a headband as she chatted to attendees
The crowds appeared in high spirits, despite the rainy weather in London earlier this afternoon, and quickly gathered to speak to the royals
The Duke of Cambridge shared a smile with a group of attendees as they chatted at the garden party at Buckingham Palace
Crowds were quick to gather around the royal couple, despite the downpour, who stood and chatted with attendees (left, Prince William, and right, Kate Middleton)
Despite the rainy weather, the Duke of Cambridge appeared in good spirits and beamed as he chatted with attendees of the event today
The Countess of Wessex, who donned a baby blue gown for the occasion, could be seen chatting to guests about the weather amid the drizzling rain
The royal mother-of-three could be seen carrying a white parasol umbrella as she arrived at the garden party today amid the drizzle in rain – but didn’t let the rain stop the fun at the event
Meanwhile Prince William appeared dapper in a black top hat and tails as he wandered across the lawn to speak to attendees at the event
A typical spring day! One group sheltered beneath two umbrellas as the rain poured down on the Buckingham Palace lawn earlier today
Meanwhile Princess Beatrice wore a pretty cap-sleeved tan coloured midi dress for the occasion, which she paired with a matching headband.
It is the first time the garden parties have been held since 2019 after they were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Buckingham Palace released a statement last month revealing the Queen would not attend the annual events but did not offer an explanation.
Speaking on the absence, royal expert Angela Levin said: ‘It’s a good decision for the Queen not to attend garden parties as there would be too much standing. What a shame though.’
Kate, who last wore her custom-made dress for Prince Charles investiture anniversary in March 2019, paired the look with matching accessories
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were joined by the Earl and Countess of Wessex for the event earlier today, and stood on the steps of Buckingham Palace during a rendition of God Save the Queen
Guests were left sheltering beneath umbrellas at the event as London suffered a downpouring of rainy showers
It is the first time the garden parties have been held since 2019 after they were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic – with many attendees sheltering beneath umbrellas for the occasion
The annual Buckingham Palace garden parties, started in the 1860s by Queen Victoria, are a way of recognising and rewarding public service and see people from all walks of life enjoy high tea on the lawn to the sounds of a military band
Guests gathered on the lawn of Buckingham Palace despite the intermittent showers in London this afternoon
The annual Buckingham Palace garden parties, started in the 1860s by Queen Victoria, are a way of recognising and rewarding public service and see people from all walks of life enjoy high tea on the lawn to the sounds of a military band.
Every year, the Queen invites 30,000 people to attend the parties. At each Garden Party, around 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cake are consumed.
For the occasion men are asked to wear morning dress or lounge suits while women are invited to wear a ‘day dress, usually with hats or fascinators’.
Every year, the Queen invites 30,000 people to attend the parties. At each Garden Party, around 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cake are consumed
Three garden parties will be held at Buckingham Palace in May, followed by a party at Holyroodhouse in August
Three garden parties will be held at Buckingham Palace in May, followed by a party at Holyroodhouse in August.
This year there was also a ‘Not Forgotten Association Annual Garden Party’ which took place on May 12 and was hosted by Princess Anne, who is patron of the charity.
The Not Forgotten Association provides entertainment, leisure and recreation for the serving wounded, injured or sick and for ex-service men and women with disabilities.
The Garden Party for the organisation, which will also be held at Buckingham Palace, will bring together more than 2,000 beneficiaries of all ages and from all services.