The Queen Just Threw A Party For 8000 People

That's a lot of tea and cake.

Garden party season is in full swing at Buckingham Palace, and if you have no idea what that’s all about then we’ve got your back. A quick peep at the royal family’s official Twitter -- we love how social media savvy they’ve become by the way -- has clued us in. Every summer the Queen puts on a series of prim and proper events in her backyard – by that we mean the Palace grounds – in order to soak up the sunshine, admire the gardens and generally have a jolly good time.

So who’s invited? Oh just a casual 30,000 or so people. Yup. The first garden party of the year was held on May 15 and was attended by about 8,000 guests. Two more events will follow on May 31 and June 5 at Buckingham Palace, with a fourth and final do at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on July 4.

And you don’t have to be super fancy to score a spot on the guest list. These parties are all about celebrating those who have made a positive impact on their community. The Queen makes a point of mingling with the crowd as do other members of the royal family. She was accompanied by her sons, Princes Andrew and Edward, and Edward’s wife the Countess of Wessex, to the party on May 15. Her hubby Prince Philip as well as Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William and Kate Middleton have all attended in previous years. That’s a lot of bowing, curtseying and "how-do-you-dos".

Speaking of formalities, there’s a dress code. Of course. Guys, get out your morning dress -- that’s a coat, waistcoat and striped trousers -- or lounge suits -- a suit jacket and pants. Ladies are expected to wear a smart dress (or similar). Don’t forget your hat or fascinator.

So what does one do at a garden party after -- hopefully -- bumping into the Queen or her royal relations? Why not take in the beautiful Palace grounds? Her Majesty is well-known for her love of the outdoors and always makes sure that the gardens are kept in tip-top shape. Some of the flowers that are in bloom include Rhododendron 'Queen Mary', Weigelas, Azaleas and a rare Decaisnea insignis. What’s that last one again? Commonly known by the rather grim name ‘dead man’s fingers’ Decaisnea insignis is a tree bearing sweet bean-like fruit.

The question is will we see any of these gorgeous flowers -- dead man’s fingers aside -- in Meghan Markle’s wedding bouquet? Florist Philippa Craddock has said that many of the blooms will be locally-sourced from the gardens and parkland of The Crown Estate and Windsor Great Park. Stay tuned.

Let’s talk food. You’ll want to sip or nibble on something, after all. Rest assured that’s all under control. The Palace serves up 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cakes at each event. It sounds like a lot of work but the crew behind the scenes have had a few years to perfect the event.

In fact, garden parties have been held at Buckingham Palace since the 1860s. Each year one is held in honour of the Not Forgotten Association, a charity for wounded, injured or sick ex-servicemen and women. This year’s will be hosted by Prince Harry. Here’s hoping new bride Meghan will make an appearance as well.

Feature image: Getty.