Thousands attend Queen’s annual garden party in Edinburgh

The Princess Royal, Duke of York and the Earl of Forfar were also at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

Royal: The Queen at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. <strong>Getty Images</strong>
Royal: The Queen at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Getty Images

Up to 10,000 people enjoyed tea in the presence of the Queen as she hosted her annual Scottish garden party.

The Queen was joined by three of her four children – the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex, now known as the Earl of Forfar when in Scotland – as they mingled with guests in the sunshine at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

She wore a coral pink coat and matching hat by designer Angela Kelly for the occasion.

One of those introduced to the Queen was 29-year-old Jason Byers, who was with his mother Pam and his three-year-old guide dog Becky.

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Mr Byers, from Innerleithen in the Borders, said afterwards: “It was an honour to meet Her Majesty and I still can’t believe I’ve done it. I’m thrilled to bits.

“We had a conversation about what I do for volunteering and she was asking how old my dog was and how long I’d had her.

“I do a lot of voluntary work for Guide Dogs for the Blind, I fundraise for them.

“I also work for the Royal Voluntary Service, at a breakfast and lunch club for the elderly and I work in a local charity shop in my town. I’m a very busy volunteer.”

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Martha Bruce was part of a group of eight people from the Women’s Royal Army Corps Association in Scotland, which is marking its centenary year.

The 97-year-old said she last met the Queen when she was a child.

Lady Bruce, from Fife, said: “I had no idea [I’d meet her] when I asked if we could possibly get tickets because it was the centenary year.

“That’s all I thought they’d give us. Now they’ve given us all this.”

Scottish Youth Theatre actor Saul Davidson, 22, from Glasgow, declared that he was “absolutely buzzing” after being introduced to the Queen.

He said: “We just told her that we went on a tour with a play and it was about mental health. She said it was great that we were doing something like that.”

Fellow SYT actor Rachel Still, 23, also from Glasgow, said: “I think it’s super-exciting to be invited to something like this, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and there are so many amazing organisations and people here.”

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Attendees are chosen from a range of backgrounds for the positive impacts they have had on their communities.

The event forms part of Holyrood week, which also includes the ancient Ceremony of the Keys and an investiture.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Queen met First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Holyrood’s presiding officer Ken Macintosh during private audiences at the palace.


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