Each year the Lord-Lieutenant is asked to nominate individuals who may wish to attend a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. All persons nominated must be British citizens, resident in the United Kingdom and living within the Lieutenancy area of Buckinghamshire. Those nominated are to be drawn from as wide a range as possible, and must not have previously attended one of Her Majesty's Garden Parties.
If you wish to nominate a member of your local community, please write to the Lieutenancy Office with the name of the person you wish to nominate, their correct and full postal address and state why you feel the individual should be considered. Nominations are received all year round, but the closing date for nominations in each particular year is 31st December.
The Lord-Lieutenant will consider the request and, if he feels the nomination is suitable, will write to the nominated individual asking if they would like to attend, the name of their guest and on which of the 3 dates they would like to receive an invitation.
Those nominated on the Lord-Lieutenant list will receive an invitation which will be sent from the Lord Chamberlain's Office approximately 4 to 6 weeks prior to the date chosen.
More information about Garden Parties is available on the British Monarchy website: www.royal.gov.uk
Approximately 8,000 people are invited to each party, and in order to ensure a cross-section of people attend quotas are reserved for public organisations such as the Civil Service, the Armed Forces, as well as charities and societies. During the Queen's reign, more than 1.1 million people have attended Garden Parties.
There is a dress code. Gentlemen are encouraged to wear morning dress or lounge suits while women wear afternoon dress, usually with hats or fascinators. National dress and uniform is also allowed.
The first Royal Garden Parties were held in the 1860s when Queen Victoria began hosting 'breakfasts', despite the fact that they were held in the afternoon. Fuelled by imports of tea from its colonies, British high society had taken afternoon tea breaks to their heart and the monarchy wrapped this into royal tradition by hosting two garden parties a year. In the 1950s a third garden party was added at Buckingham Palace to replace the traditional presentation parties for debutantes which had fallen out of fashion.