The Queen's second garden party of the season started on a sombre note as the monarch and her family held a moment of silence to pay their respects to the victims of the Manchester terror attack. The royals and their 8,000 guests stood in silence in the grounds of Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, as they remembered the 22 dead and 59 injured who were caught up in the Manchester bombing the night before. The Queen, 91, looked visibly affected by the tragedy as she stood in quiet contemplation and respect outside the palace Bow Room. She was joined by her husband Prince Philip, her son Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, and her granddaughter Princess Eugenie. Eugenie's dad Prince Andrew, who was travelling back from China, was due to join the garden party.
The national anthem was played, as well as the James Bond theme tune, in apparent tribute to Sir Roger Moore who died on Tuesday morning at the age of 89. The royals circulated among the guests, each taking a different 'lane' to speak to as many people as possible. Social media had been divided on whether the garden party should have gone ahead while parents in Manchester were still looking for their loved ones.
But guest Chris Rowe and his wife Antonella, from Manchester originally, insisted that it was right to carry on as normal. "We were worried it was going to be cancelled but it's the sort of thing that shouldn't be cancelled," he said. "You've got to show that life carries on." The chance to attend a garden party is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most. Those invited are generally members of the public who have made a positive impact in their community.
Earlier in the day, Her Majesty released a statement calling the terror attack an "act of barbarity". She said: "The whole nation has been shocked by the death and injury in Manchester last night of so many people, adults and children, who had just been enjoying a concert. I know I speak for everyone in expressing my deepest sympathy to all who have been affected by this dreadful event and especially to the families and friends of those who have died or were injured." She went on to thank members of the emergency services who reacted with "professionalism and care," and also the people of Manchester who responded with "humanity and compassion".
Each year, the Queen hosts three garden parties at her iconic London residence. She also hosts one at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. Over the course of the year, around 30,000 guests are invited to spend a relaxed summer afternoon in Her Majesty's beautiful palace gardens. At each party, around 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cake are consumed. Guests are invited to eat, drink and walk around the perfectly manicured gardens.