Tea with the Queen
Its not every Thursday that you are able to attend a Royal Garden Tea Party on the grounds of Buckingham Palace in London, but that is exactly what we did on Thursday the 31st of May, 2018.
Lets just rewind for a minute.
Every year, New Zealand House is gifted XX amount of tickets for kiwis to attend certain royal events. Included in these events is the Royal Garden Tea Party. You apply with a friend (in my case - Emma) and you go into a ballot. It wasn't for about 6 or so weeks that we found out we have successfully secured a ticket each to the event.
Fast forward 3 and a half months!
It honestly flew by. We had each gotten time off work, organised our outfits and we met each other at NZ House to collect our tickets (!!!) and we went for a cheeky wine beforehand as the gates didn't open until 3pm.
We caught an uber and got into the line which was in front of Buckingham palace (there were other entrances but none as grand as the main entrance I'm sure). We were led through the gates and into a courtyard which we then went through the palace itself (WTFFFF) which was insane. We both didn't realise we would actually go through the palace and nothing prepares you for how beautiful and grand it is (unfortunately no photos were to be taken inside), with marble statues, red carpets and a shit load of fine china lining the walls and floors.
Once outside, the sound of an orchestra was heard and the surreal moment of 'holy shit we are having tea at Buckingham Palace with the queen' hit us both. We got a few snaps (did you even go to the royal tea party if you didn't take a photo??) and then made our way to the food/tea tent. The food was sublime and neither of us actually got a tea, but an iced coffee instead.
We ate our finger sandwiches and mini scones and then decided to check out the posh toilets that the lady at NZ house had told us to check out.
We went for a wander around the grounds, taking hundreds of photos and taking it all in. We managed to get to the rose garden which looked and smelt amazing before coming back to the main grounds where everyone was silent as the Queen had just arrived. Prince William was also there and so was Princess Eugenie (plus lots of other royals we didn't know).
Due to there being around 8,000 people at the event, it was rather tricky to actually get a good glimpse of the queen so off to the food tent for another place of sandwiches and cake, perfecting our food 'stack' (the simple art of stacking as much food onto your plate as possible without looking piggish).
We did however manage to get to the front of the rope which was sectioned off around the Royal Tea Tent. We waited over 30 minutes for the Queen to meet and greet the ones inside the tent but it was all worth it when we got a great glimpse of her when she left. The Queen rocks - she looked glamorous, petite and had a matching umbrella to her outfit - how fab!!
We did both wonder though - what does the Queen actually carry in her bag?! A hanky? Cell phone? Wallet? Does the Queen have a bank account? And if so, who does she bank with? Lipstick? Spare change? The list is endless!
We left around 6pm to the orchestra playing a medley of Adele songs and a mini pint of ice-cream in hand.
Words cant describe how amazing the tea party was and if you are able to apply for a ballot, i would 110% recommend!
There arent many people that have the opportunity to have tea on the grounds of Buckingham Palace.