Announcement of a special Garden Party for children

Published 01 February 2006


Buckingham Palace and the BBC today launched details of a special Garden Party for children at Buckingham Palace on June 25th as part of The Queen's 80th birthday events.

The "Children's Party at the Palace" will celebrate British children's literature by inviting children, grandparents, parents or guardians, along with characters from Britain's favourite storybooks, to a tea party and unique entertainment show at Buckingham Palace.

Characters including Tracy Beaker, Paddington Bear, Mowgli, Winnie the Pooh and the Gruffalo will be joining guests in the garden. At 6pm, Sophie Dahl, granddaughter of Roald Dahl, will appear on stage to introduce a specially written show for all the nation to watch live on the BBC. Mary Poppins, the White Rabbit and Captain Hook will also be starring along with the Royal Ballet who will create a Beatrix Potter vignette.

All children living in the UK aged between 4 and 14 are invited to apply from today through a national ballot by logging on to

2,000 children and 1,000 adults (parents/grandparents or guardians) will then be selected to attend the party.

"Blue Peter" will be broadcasting live from Buckingham Palace this afternoon on CBBC One and the CBBC channel at 5pm with a special programme to unveil details of the party and how children can apply for invitations.

Major publishers and rights holders are also kindly lending their support to the event and working closely with the BBC and Buckingham Palace to create a magical guest experience and show.

Sainsbury's and Jamie Oliver have agreed to create a special version of the traditional British picnic tea for all those invited to the Palace.

To help The Queen's guests enjoy their trip to London and Buckingham Palace, the Mayor of London and Transport for London have kindly donated 3,000 special Oyster Cards which will be given to all invitation winners. The Oyster Cards, with a special commemorative wallet, will enable guests to travel on London tubes and buses free of charge throughout the weekend of the "Children's Party at the Palace".

Some of the characters will be visiting schools and hospitals in the lead-up to the party to read stories to children who may not be able to attend.

Rights holders and publishing companies will also be donating books to a "book pool". "Children's Party at the Palace" will be working with the National Literacy Trust to distribute these books to children living in disadvantaged areas who would most benefit from this gift of a book to own.

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: "The 'Children's Party at the Palace' will be a celebration of British children's literature, both traditional and modern, which we hope will encourage children to read and enjoy books. The day will also focus on the family and the key role that grandparents and parents, relatives and friends can play in shaping a child's love of books through the favourite stories that families pass down through generations. We hope this day will encourage children to explore new worlds through the characters and their stories.

"The event will bring together the British literary community in a way that benefits children from all backgrounds and cultures and focuses the nation's attention on British children's literature and the magic of books."

Related content

A speech by The Countess of Wessex celebrating the work of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust

On behalf of the people The Trust has helped thank you to each and every one of you for all your incredible support, and to Your Majesty thank you for choosing to give the...

29 October 2019

International Youth Day 2019

12 August 2019
Press release 10 May 2018

Garden Parties at Buckingham Palace 2018

Read more

Holyrood Week 2017

06 July 2017
Virtual Tour

Virtual tours: Buckingham Palace

An iconic building and official residence of The Queen, Buckingham Palace has been the focus of many moments of national celebration, from Jubilees and weddings to VE Day and...

Press release 20 December 2016

The Queen's Patronages

Read more

The Queen's Young Leaders

The Queen’s Young Leader Award celebrates exceptional people from across the Commonwealth

The Queen's Commonwealth Day Message, 10 March 2014

The understanding that we belong together, and are able, through teamwork, to achieve far more than we could do alone, has always been at the heart of our approach.

10 March 2014

The Queen's Message to the Athletes

The baton relay represents a calling together of people from every part of the Commonwealth.

23 July 2014

Garden Parties

Each year over 30,000 guests are invited to garden parties...
The King speaks to a guest at a Garden Party

A speech by The Queen at the Grenadier Guards Garden Party

The Regimental Association is the very embodiment of the Regimental Family and I trust that it will thrive equally well over the next century too!

26 June 2013

A speech by The Queen in Burnley, Lancashire, 2012

I look forward to seeing much of the hospitality and the dynamism for which this part of England is rightly renowned.

16 May 2012
Press release 29 October 2011

Garden Party invitations for those born on Accession Day

Read more
Press release 31 October 2010

Launch of Diamond Jubilee emblem competition

Read more

A speech by The Queen at The Prince's Trust Headquarters

As The Prince of Wales, our son, approaches his own sixtieth birthday, may I say that we are both enormously proud to have been reminded here today of his personal...

12 November 2008

A speech by The Queen at the Children's Literature Garden Party

We have been reminded that this magic of our childhoods - the characters, the stories, the imagination of it all - is an enduring and essential part of our culture.

25 June 2006

A speech by The Queen at Mansion House for Her Majesty's 80th Birthday

As Groucho Marx once said "Anyone can get old - all you have to do is to live long enough". And there are in my view many other anniversaries this year which are more...

15 June 2006
Press release 27 February 2006

Children's literature party deadline reminder

Read more
Press release 09 February 2002

Princess Margaret: Funeral arrangements

Read more
Press release 03 January 2002

Accession Day Garden Parties

Read more