In Princess Kate’s Absence, Prince William Is Supported by Four of His Royal Cousins While Hosting Today’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace

The moment marked “a rare outing highlighting the next generation of the royal family.”

Prince William
(Image credit: Getty Images)

As his wife, the Princess of Wales, continues to receive treatment for cancer—which she revealed publicly on March 22—Prince William was joined by many of his cousins to host a garden party at Buckingham Palace today in a show of solidarity and support.

Both of Princess Anne’s children, Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall, were on hand, as were the York sisters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie (daughters of the Duke and Duchess of York, the long-divorced Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson). That means that five of Queen Elizabeth’s eight grandchildren were at today’s garden party; Prince Harry, William’s younger brother, is in the U.S. (and, um, not maybe on the friendliest terms with the Prince of Wales at the moment), and the two children of Prince Edward and Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, Louise and James, are perhaps a bit too young yet to undertake hosting duties. (Louise is 20 and a student at the University of St. Andrews; James is just 16.) Mike Tindall, Zara’s husband, was also there, as well, as were the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.

Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie

The York sisters, Beatrice and Eugenie, arriving at today's garden party.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Zara Tindall

Zara stepped out to support her cousin William, as did Zara's husband Mike Tindall.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

As People reports, William “looked dapper in a morning suit and top hat as he stepped in to host a garden party” on behalf of his father, King Charles. Garden parties have been held since the 1860s as a way for the monarch to recognize community members for their public service, and over 30,000 guests each year are invited to a garden party, People reports. And they take place rain or shine, as evidenced today, which erred on the rain side of the coin. Queen Elizabeth herself admitted back in 2019 that the weather “can be a bit of a worry” when it comes to these outdoor events, saying “Well, you do rather hope the sun shines as when you invite 8,000 people to have tea on your lawn.”

As Her late Majesty said, tea is served, as is cake—People reports that around 27,000 cups of tea are served at garden parties and 20,000 slices of cake are consumed. 

Peter Phillips

Peter Phillips braved the rain to greet the thousands of guests assembled on the lawn of Buckingham Palace.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Princess Eugenie

Eugenie carried the day's hottest accessory: a black umbrella.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Today’s garden party marked “a rare outing highlighting the next generation of the royal family,” the outlet writes, with Zara, Beatrice, and Eugenie coordinated in pink and white. Zara prepared for the day’s rain with not just her umbrella, but also “clear, protective stoppers on her heels to prevent her from sinking into the wet lawn so she could mingle with guests on the grass,” People reports.

Zara Tindall

A fantastic style hack from Zara.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The royals mingled with the thousands of guests at the event today, and attendees included guests from William and Kate’s patronages, military affiliations, and passion projects, including Homewards (William’s work to eradicate homelessness), RAF Valley, Swim England, and tenants across Duchy of Cornwall sites.

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.