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Prince William and Kate step out for the Queen's first garden party of the year

The couple are due to attend the wedding of Kate's sister Pippa Middleton

by Ainhoa Barcelona

Just a couple of days after hosting their own children's party at Buckingham Palace, Prince William and Kate stepped out to attend the Queen's first garden party of the year, also at the palace. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made a beautiful couple, with Kate looking elegant in ice blue and William wearing a morning suit and a top hat. They joined Princess Beatrice, the Queen and Prince Philip, arriving just after 4pm as the national anthem played.

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Tuesday's event marked the first of three garden parties that the Queen hosts each summer at her iconic London residence. She will also host 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.

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Kate looked as elegant as ever at the Queen's garden party

Those invited are usually members of the public who have made a positive impact in their community, giving the Queen an opportunity to speak to a broad range of people from all walks of life. Each member of the royal family circulates among the guests through 'lanes'. They take different routes to speak to as many people as possible. 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 be merry, and of course walk around the perfectly manicured gardens.

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The royals at the garden party on Saturday

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This year, the Queen has given permission for three additional garden parties to be hosted by members of the royal family in Buckingham Palace. Last Saturday, Prince William, Kate and Prince Harry held a fun-filled garden party for around 850 parents and children. The open-air festival was a treat for the sons and daughters of parents who have died serving their country. Face-painting and cupcake decorating stalls were set up, while circus acts, break-dancers and magicians entertained the young guests. Pop star Jess Glynne and ventriloquist Nina Conti also performed for the excited crowd.