Every year Queen Elizabeth hosts three parties at the palace and one in Holyroodhouse as a way to recognize and reward public service

By Dana Rose Falcone
May 31, 2018 04:07 PM
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‘Tis the season for top hats in the U.K., as garden parties are in full swing.

Prince William rocked a sky-high selection in classic black with his tails when he joined Queen Elizabeth and Princess Eugenie at a Buckingham Palace Garden Party on Thursday. Princess Alexandra and Prince Edward were also in attendance, along with approximately 8,000 guests.

Every year the Queen, 92, hosts three parties at the palace and one in Holyroodhouse as a way to recognize and reward public service. Thursday’s affair — which kicked off around 4 p.m. local time when members of the royal family convened on the West Terrace for the National Anthem — marks the second palace party of the season, with the third set for June 15.

PA Images/Sipa USA
PA Images/Sipa USA

At each event, on average, around 27,000 cups of tea are served and 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cake are consumed, according to the palace.

All guests must adhere to a strict dress code: Gentleman are expect to wear morning dress or lounge suits, while women don day dresses, typically accessorized with hats or fascinators. National dress and uniform are also allowed.

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Queen Elizabeth wore a bright dress in multiple shades of blue, topped with a matching hat. She and William, 36, spent the party shaking hands with various community leaders and members.

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Garden parties have been a tradition at Buckingham Palace since the 1860s.