Kate to lead Firm as she steps in for Queen with Sophie Wessex, Prince Edward & Alexandra

Kate Middleton and Prince William visit school in Glasgow

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The Duchess of Cambridge will step out this afternoon to welcome thousands of guests at Buckingham Palace as she is to attend the second garden party held this year at the Queen’s residence in London. Kate will entertain guests in the company of three other working members of the Royal Family – Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Prince Edward and Princess Alexandra, Buckingham Palace told

This isn’t the first time Kate takes part in a garden party at the Palace.

Prince William’s wife, who joined the Royal Family in April 2011, has attended the key event on several occasions, including when pregnant with Prince George in May 2013.

Similarly, the Wessexes have often taken part in these events and the Queen’s cousin and confidante Alexandra has been one of the royal special guests since the 1960s.

The four royals are stepping in for the Queen, who won’t attend any of the four royal garden parties planned for this year.

Announcing the dates of the events earlier this month, the Palace said in a statement: “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 Queen has been experiencing episodic mobility issues for a few months and has cut down the number of events she attends in person outside of Palace walls.

The first party in London took place on May 11, and saw Prince Charles, Princess Anne and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, faced the rainy weather to speak to as many guests as possible.

Among those invited to this year’s first garden party, there was England’s chief medical officer Sir Chris Whitty, one of the most prominent figures during the pandemic, and a young NHS fundraiser. 

This event marked the return of parties at the Palace since the beginning of the Covid crisis.

The third and last garden party of the year at Buckingham Palace will take place on May 25.

Finally, on June 29, guests will gather to meet a selected number of royals at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.

Garden parties were created by Queen Victoria in June 1868.

During the reign of Elizabeth II, they became one of the sovereign’s ways to recognise people from all walks of life who have contributed in outstanding ways to their communities.

While the Queen is missing the garden parties this year, she has shown to still be very willing to leave her residences for public engagements.

On Tuesday, she travelled to Paddington station in west London to officially launch the Elizabeth Line, set to open to the public on May 24.

Her Majesty was accompanied to the visit by Prince Edward, and together they spoke with staff who made the line’s completion possible, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Prime Minister Boris Johnson among others.

The Queen was also shown how to use ticket machines at the station and received her very own oyster card, the payment method commonly used on public transport in London.

The monarch appeared in great form and steady on her feet as she walked aided only by a walking stick.

This official engagement followed two other appearances by the sovereign.

On Friday, she attended the second day of the Royal Windsor Horse Show, taking place just a few yards from her castle.

The monarch watched a few events from her Range Rover before taking a seat in the stands and watching Lady Louise leading a parade aboard late Prince Philip’s carriage.

The monarch delighted royal fans with another outing on Sunday evening, when she attended the last night of A Gallop Through History.

The equestrian extravaganza took viewers on a journey across the past five centuries of British history and featured more than 500 horses and 1000 performers.

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