Charles and Camilla step in for Queen to host first Buckingham Palace garden party in three years

The Duchess of Cornwall speaks to guests during a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in London. Picture date: Wednesday May 11, 2022.
Charles and Camilla have hosted the first Garden Party since the pandemic halted the royal events. Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Rain couldn't stop the royal garden party season from kicking off at Buckingham Palace, as the event returned for the first time in nearly three years.

The Queen was not in attendance due to her mobility issues.

Instead, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Princess Royal were on duty amid the sea of umbrellas on Wednesday afternoon in the monarch's place.

Because of the pandemic, the traditional garden parties at the palace had not been held for three years.

The party returned on Wednesday with guests including Professor Sir Chris Whitty and a young NHS fundraiser.

Camilla greets guests at Buckingham Palace Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA

The garden parties are important events in the royal calendar, as those who have served their country or communities are recognised.

As the rain poured down, Charles and Camilla spoke to a selection of the 8,000 guests in attendance, including representatives from the Royal Shakespeare Company and Macmillan Cancer Support.

Charles, who wore a top hat, was in good spirits as he shook hands and conversed with attendees including military personnel.

It comes the day after he presented the Queen's Speech to Parliament in his mother's place for the first time.

The future king also met representatives from the Turquoise Mountain charity, as well as volunteers from the Prince’s Trust.

The Princess Royal Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA

Camilla wore a blue and white embroidered coat dress by Fiona Clare, with a hat by Philip Treacey, as she made her way around the party.

England’s chief medical officer Sir Chris and 11-year-old fundraiser Tobias Weller – known as 'Captain Tobias' – were also among the guests.

The National Anthem was played by a military band as part of a selection of music during the afternoon.

Other events will be staged at Buckingham Palace on May 18 and 25, and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh will be the venue for a party on June 29.

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