Queen Elizabeth II hosts up to three Garden Parties at Buckingham Palace and one at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh every summer.

The Queen welcomes over 30,000 guests to the beautiful gardens of Buckingham Palace or the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Garden parties are an important way for Queen Elizabeth to meet people from all walks of life who have made a positive impact in the community.

Australians and New Zealanders visiting Great Britain can apply for tickets through a ballot system mentioned below.

Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

Dates For The Queen’s Garden Parties

• Buckingham Palace – Tuesday, 15 May
• Buckingham Palace – Thursday, 31 May
• Buckingham Palace – Tuesday, 5 June
• Palace of Holyroodhouse – Wednesday, 4 July

However, Prince Charles will represent his mother at the Garden Party held on 5 June.

Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh. By Kim Traynor [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
The Queen has also given permission for two special Garden Parties, to be hosted by members of the Royal family, in the Gardens at Buckingham Palace.

The Prince of Wales’ 70the Birthday Garden Reception

The Duchess of Cornwall and the Prince of Wales attending a Garden Party in Sydney, 2015. © Carolyn M Cash

The Prince of Wales’ 70th Birthday Garden Reception, hosted by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, will be held on 22 May to celebrate the work of The Prince’s Charities.

The Not Forgotten Association Garden Party

On 7 June, The Princess Royal will attend the annual Not Forgotten Association Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. The Not Forgotten Association (NFA) is a tri-service charity which provides entertainment, leisure and recreation for the serving wounded, injured or sick and for ex-servicemen and women with disabilities.

What To Expect

The Royal Garden Parties are held in the grounds of Buckingham Palace or the Palace of Holyrood House between 4.00 pm and 6.00 pm.

The Palace gates are open from around 3.00 pm.

The party officially begins when the National Anthem is played by one of two military bands present, as Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, accompanied by other Members of the Royal Family, enter the garden at 4.00 pm.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh circulate among the guests by taking a different route, with random presentations, so everyone has an equal chance of speaking to the Queen or other members of the Royal Family.

Her Majesty then arrives at the Royal Tea Tent where she meets more guests.

Guests are free to eat, drink and stroll through the Palace gardens.

What To Wear

For men – morning dress or service uniform. However, a dark lounge suit is also acceptable.

For ladies – a day dress with either a hat or fascinator or their service uniform (trousers are not usually worn). Gloves are optional.

National dress is also often worn.

Information for Australians and New Zealanders

The High Commissions are allocated a number of invitations or tickets for Australians or New Zealand citizens to attend Royal Events in the United Kingdom.

However, applications have already closed for 2018 through the Australian and New Zealand High Commissions who provide tickets through ballot systems.

Applications usually close in March.

Successful applications will be notified by e-mail and must collect their tickets in person at their High Commission office


Australian citizens visiting the United Kingdom are invited to apply online, for tickets to a Royal Garden Party if they have never attended one in the past.

All guests must be over 18 years of age with a maximum of 4 people per party.

However, no parking is available except disability badge (Blue Badge) holders who may apply for parking.

Two forms of identification for each person are required for entry, including one with a photograph, to confirm their full name, date of birth and current address.

Visit the High Commission of Australia’s website for more details or follow @AusHCUK on Twitter

New Zealand

Applications must be made through the High Commission through their website, using an online form.

See the High Commision of New Zealand for more information to apply for tickets in the ballot or follow @NZinUK on Twitter.

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