Buckingham Palace opened its gates for quite the celebration on Saturday! Prince William, Kate Middleton and Prince Harry hosted a garden tea party to honor an incredible group of 850 kids. The royal trio had a blast with their young special guests, who were the children of men and women who died serving their country in the armed forces.
Kate Middleton looked elegant in a recycled Chloe dress Photo: Getty Images
The Duchess of Cambridge looked as graceful as ever at the outdoor festivity, wearing one of her favorite dresses. Designed by French fashion label Chloe, Kate’s knitted cream dress swirled with springtime elegance. This is not the first time the 35-year-old has donned the See by Chloe long sleeve dress, which retails for $460. Kate was previously seen wearing the outfit at another children’s event during her 2016 royal tour of Canada. At Saturday’s party, the Duchess chose to accessorize her ensemble with simple gray wedges. She even proved the outfit to be practical as she launched a giant slingshot off the palace steps.
Kate launches a giant slingshot off the palace steps Photo: Getty Images
Kate’s party co-hosts, William and Harry, kept their looks more casual at the tea party, sharply dressed in dark navy suits. The regal threesome appeared to be having a wonderful time in the sunshine as they chatted and played with the children and teenagers. At one point, Prince Harry tried his luck at plate-spinning. The 32-year-old was joined by the widow and six-year-old son of Fusilier Lee Rigby, who was killed in 2013. They shared a laugh as the royal struggled to keep his plate in the air.
Prince Harry the plate-spinner Photo: Getty Images
The Duke and Duchess and Prince Harry organized the outing to give the families a chance to connect with others in a similar situation. “Their Royal Highnesses have arranged the event as a way to acknowledge and honor the fact that a number of young children have had to come to terms with the loss of someone very close to them at a young age,” an official statement from Kensington Palace said. “The Duke and Duchess and Prince Harry hope the event will provide an opportunity for these children to broaden their support networks amongst other families with similar experiences.”
Prince Harry making a moving speech to guests Photo: Getty Images
“We're here to celebrate you,” Prince Harry said during a moving speech, which addressed the children having to cope with their tragic losses. "And to remind you that we as a family, we as a nation, and we up and down the country will never ever forget about the sacrifices that every single one of you have made... You are all together, you are one community of people that have been through the same experiences and for that every single one of us here... the three of us, the whole of our family and the whole of this nation, thank you so, so much for everything you guys have done." He then added with a smile: "I can assure you that Buckingham Palace gardens have not seen this much fun, ever."
Prince Harry having a blast with a little Spider-Man Photo: Getty Images
Despite the event's somber origin, there was plenty of joy on the sprawling palace lawns. According to the official website of the british royal family the invited children took part in a range of activities, including: face painting, science experiments and cupcake decorating. In addition, the royal foundation’s 'Full Effect' and Coach Core programs led workshops in beatboxing, breakdancing and a number of sports. There was also live entertainment from singer Jess Glynne, ventriloquist Nina Conti and magician Lance Corporal Richard Jones.
The tea party had a spectacular ending, with royal air paratroopers dropping in. “Performances concluded with a special display by the RAF Falcons, who landed outside The Palace and landed in the garden,” said a statement on the family’s website. Kensington Palace took to Instagram to share a video of the paratroopers flying in, which delighted the deserving crowd.