Prince William hosts rain-soaked Buckingham Palace garden party in absence of King Charles

21 May 2024, 20:26

Prince William hosted a garden party on behalf of his father King Charles
Prince William hosted a garden party on behalf of his father King Charles. Picture: alamy

By Will Conroy

The Prince of Wales braved the heavy rain as he hosted a Buckingham Palace garden party on behalf of his father, King Charles.

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Around 8,000 people were invited including Prince William’s cousins, princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, and Zara Tindell, with her husband Mike. The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester were also present.

In the absence of the King and Queen, the young royals entertained guests as they sheltered from the downpours under umbrellas and in the tea tents.

They put on a show of support for Charles who has returned to public duties as he continues to undergo his treatment for cancer.

Mike Tindall at the the Sovereign's Garden Party
Mike Tindall at the the Sovereign's Garden Party. Picture: Getty

Guests included those from Homewards, William’s homelessness initiative, RAF Valley, where he worked as a search and rescue pilot, Swim England, of which he is patron, and tenants across Duchy of Cornwall sites.

When the future king chatted to senior executives from Swim England he joked it was “good weather for swimming”.

The monarch often gives family members responsibility for hosting one of their garden parties, or allows them to organise one of their own for the charities they are associated with.

The Prince was also set to meet representatives from several of his and his wife’s patronages, military affiliations and personal interests.

The Princess of Wales did not attend as she remains out of the public eye while she continues her cancer treatment.

Read more: King Charles and Queen Camilla greet crowds at Chelsea Flower Show as they visit garden designed by children

Read more: Charles unveils first portrait since Coronation which includes butterfly capturing 'metamorphosis from Prince to King'

The prince, dressed in a top hat and morning suit, left with a children's book he pledged to read to Prince Louis at bedtime.

Mrs Hall, from Bloomers Farm in north Dorset, said afterwards: "We're farmers, we're used to the rain, and when we left this morning Dorset was in sunshine. It's all the seasons in one day sometimes."

The Tindalls were interacting with members of the public hoping to catch a glimpse of the rails as they waited in the miserable conditions.

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