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Living the High Life at the Royal Garden Party

Julie Blackwell from SI Winchester attended the Royal Garden Party on 5 June 2018. This is her report of the day:

I was delighted that I was successful to be representing SIGBI on one of the tickets offered to members. I invited my sister to come with me and we made the most of the day.

Sisters Mandy Davenport (left) and Julie Blackwell (right) start the day in style with cocktails at the Ritz – and why not?


We had cocktails in the Ritz to start with, and then walked through Green Park to join the queue for entry at Hyde Park. Talking to others, there were a variety of attendees, from those volunteering in hospices, to members of the Forces, education, sport, and individual charities and organisations. A friend of mine from Cumbria attended from her local council in Appleby as she had facilitated a trip for Prince Charles earlier in the year.

Mandy and Julie exploring the garden


We walked through the gardens to the back of Buckingham Palace and the first refreshment tent was lemon squash, which given it was a warm day, was very welcome. We sat and watched dignitaries coming into the VIP tents. Eventually we saw Princess Anne, Prince Charles and Camilla. As there weren’t many royals in attendance they were kept very busy. We were sorry the Queen was not there on that day.

Later on as we made our way to the tea tent, the PM Theresa May and entourage passed us on their way to the Royal tent. The distribution of tea was very well done considering the number of people there and we found adequate seating.

Left to right: Julie Blackwell SI Winchester & District, Sue Biggs SIGBI Federation President, Bobbie White and Shirley Thompson SI Bournemouth

We then met up with other Soroptimists, SIGBI Federation President Sue Biggs, Bobbie White and Shirley Thompson from SI Bournemouth who were invited because of the Queen’s Award they had received for their club STEM project.