Queen CANCELS all garden parties in 2021 after surge in coronavirus cases made planning impossible
- Queen has cancelled all royal garden parties in London and Edinburgh for 2021
- Royal officials have faced difficulties planning the events amid new Covid rules
- Garden parties are intended to honour and thank people serving communities
The Queen has cancelled all royal garden parties in London and Edinburgh for the whole of this year, Buckingham Palace announced today.
The decision was taken after royal officials faced difficulties planning the events amid new coronavirus rules and lockdowns being announced in recent days.
With deadlines approaching for committing to their go-ahead, it wasn’t possible to plan how they would be feasible taking into account Covid-19 precautions.
The Queen in a photograph for her annual Christmas broadcast in Windsor Castle last month
A cyclist rides on the empty Mall with Buckingham Palace in the background in London today
Garden parties are a way of honouring and thanking members of the public who have gone above and beyond in serving charities and their local communities.
They are also a means to thank members of the military and diplomatic communities. There are normally four parties each year, held in the summer.
The garden parties are normally staged at Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said today: ‘The decision has been taken that garden parties will not take place in 2021.’
The Queen arrives for a garden party at Buckingham Palace in London on May 31, 2018
The Queen normally welcomes more than 30,000 guests each year to spend a summer afternoon in the gardens of Buckingham Palace or Holyroodhouse.
Around 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cake are consumed at each garden party.
Three parties are held at Buckingham Palace and one at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. A network of sponsors is used to invite guests.
The Palace gates are open from 3pm, and the party official begins at 4pm when the Queen and other members of the Royal Family enter the garden.
Guests attend a royal garden party at Buckingham Palace in London on May 21, 2019
The National Anthem is played by one of the two military bands present, with the royals then circulating among the guests through what are known as ‘lanes’.
Each royal takes a different route and random presentations are made with the idea that everyone has an equal chance of speaking to the Queen and other royals.
The Queen also gives permission for additional garden parties to be held, such as to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme in 2006.
Others included parties to mark the Territorial Amy’s 100th Anniversary in 2008 and the Centenary of the Women’s Institute and Blind Veterans UK in 2015.