Kate and Prince William battle rain as they step up duties for frail Queen – PICTURES

Kate Middleton attends garden party at Buckingham Palace

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On Wednesday, it was announced that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would stand in for the Queen, 96, at the event, accompanied by the Earl and Countess of Wessex and Princess Beatrice. As the Queen rolls back her in-person appearances, the Palace said in a statement earlier this month: “Her Majesty will be represented by other members of the Royal Family at this year’s garden parties, with details on attendance to be confirmed.” 

The previous garden parties held on Palace grounds took place on May 18, and on May 11.

The couple battled the elements on Wednesday, May 25 to attend the event in the run-up to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend.

Joined by other senior royals, they huddled underneath umbrellas to persevere with the celebration, despite the unfavourable weather conditions.

The Duchess of Cambridge, 40, donned a pale blue dress created by her private dressmaker, which she previously wore to attend Prince Charles’ 50th anniversary of his investiture.

She debuted the chic outfit back in 2019.

The three garden parties, hosted at Buckingham Palace and Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, are traditionally held by the Queen to reward exceptional acts of public service.

Speaking on the Queen’s absence from the parties, royal expert Angela Levin said it was a “shame” the monarch did not host the events, as she did previously, but a decision made in Her Majesty’s interests.

She said: “It’s a good decision for the Queen not to attend garden parties as there would be too much standing.

“What a shame though.”

The Queen has attended a number of official royal engagements in recent weeks, including touring the 10 gardens of the Chelsea Flower Show on Monday.

Her Majesty arrived at the annual event, hosted by the Royal Horticultural Society, in a buggy for her enhanced “comfort”.

A Palace statement said the “adjustments” had been made “for the Queen’s comfort”, the monarch using the buggy for the first time in almost a decade.

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The Queen has previously used a buggy during the 2013 Coronation Festival at the Palace.

Joe Little, of Majesty Magazine, called the use of a buggy an “extremely practical arrangement that will allow the Queen to take part in as many engagements as she is able to do”.

The Queen has attended the RHS Chelsea Flower Show more than 50 times over her reign, and many elements of this year’s show had been crafted in her honour.

The director-general of the Royal Horticultural Society called the Queen “the most special person” to the organisation.

Sue Biggs described the opulent tributes to Her Majesty’s reign “everywhere you go” throughout.

She told the BBC on Monday: “There is a whole display of different signatures. So we had a signature, which is a painting just for one member of the Royal Family, of their favourite flowers, and so we have that at the show today.

“And the Queen is the only queen in history who has had three signatures painted.”

She added: “But you can’t walk through this show – whether you’re at the amazing 39 gardens or at the 80 exhibits in the Great Pavilion – of seeing everybody’s love for the Queen and tribute to the Queen on this very, very special occasion.”

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