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Kate Middleton and Sophie Wessex represent the Queen at Buckingham Palace garden party

The Duchess of Cambridge looked elegant in a coral dress as she joined Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex for a garden party at Buckingham Palace.

The trio replaced the 96-year-old Queen, who traditionally hosts four garden parties each summer, but withdrew from engagements this year amid mobility problems.

The annual garden parties, held between Buckingham Palace and Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, are one way the monarch celebrates and rewards those who have distinguished themselves in public service. They require the royal hosts to spend more than an hour on their feet as they make their way through the crowd.

The Queen, who will celebrate her Platinum Jubilee next month, is increasingly relying on senior royals, including Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince William, to stand in for her in high-profile engagements.

Yesterday, the Queen made a surprise appearance at the Elizabeth Line opening at Paddington Station, a week after missing the State Opening of Parliament.

Today she was represented by the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex, one of Her Majesty’s most trusted confidants. She was also attended by her cousin, Princess Alexandra.

Kate, 40, wearing a monochrome Emilia Wickstead ensemble, seemed perfectly poised as she joined the Wessexes on the palace steps before heading down to the garden to greet guests.

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Coral queen!  The Duchess of Cambridge opted for a coral version of an Emilia Wickstead wrap dress that she has worn on several previous occasions.

Kate at the Buckingham Palace Garden Party today

Coral queen! The Duchess of Cambridge opted for a coral version of an Emilia Wickstead wrap dress that she has worn on several previous occasions.

Meet the Duchess!  Kate spent time talking to guests at the garden party, which she recognizes as those who have distinguished themselves in public service.

Meet the Duchess! Kate spent time talking to guests at the garden party, which she recognizes as those who have distinguished themselves in public service.

Prince Edward, left, and the Countess of Wessex were on hand to greet hundreds of guests in the Buckingham Palace garden.

The Countess of Wessex at the Garden Party

Prince Edward, left, and the Countess of Wessex were on hand to greet hundreds of guests in the Buckingham Palace garden.

Pink perfection!  Showing her love for color blocks, Kate wore her coral dress with a matching hat.

The Duchess of Cambridge today

Pink perfection! Showing her love for color blocks, Kate wore her coral dress with a matching hat.

The Duchess of Cambridge looked resplendent as she joined Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex at Buckingham Palace's second garden party of the summer.

The Duchess of Cambridge looked resplendent as she joined Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex at Buckingham Palace’s second garden party of the summer.

The Duchess of Cambridge and the Countess of Wessex spent time meeting guests on the palace lawn this afternoon.

Sophie Wessex speaking to guests today

The Duchess of Cambridge, left, and the Countess of Wessex met guests in the palace garden this afternoon.

The Duchess of Cambridge spoke to a group of women and a girl who brought a banner to the party.

The Duchess of Cambridge spoke to a group of women and a girl who brought a banner to the party.

The beaming Kate beamed as she was introduced to some of the hundreds of party guests at Buckingham Palace.

The Duchess of Cambridge today

Beaming: Kate beamed as she was introduced to some of the hundreds of guests at the Buckingham Palace party

Center of the action: Guests patiently awaited a chance to speak with the Duchess of Cambridge at the garden party.

Center of the action: Guests patiently awaited a chance to speak with the Duchess of Cambridge at the garden party.

The Duchess opted for a coral version of an Emilia Wickstead wrap dress that she has worn on several previous occasions.

The flattering knee-length dress features long sleeves, a tapered neckline and a sash at the waist to accentuate Kate’s slender body.

Showing her love of color blocking, Kate paired the piece with pink suede pointe shoes and added a hat in a matching shade. She completed her look with a metallic clutch that gave her a touch of sparkle.

Meanwhile, Sophie was typically elegant in a white dress with a pink and purple floral pattern. The Countess of Wessex paired the midi with a white hat and simple neutral shoes.

It is the first time the garden parties have been held since 2019 after they were canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking about the Queen’s absence, which was announced last week, royal expert Angela Levin said: “It is a good decision for the Queen not to attend garden parties as there would be too much standing.” However, what a shame.

royal welcome!  Guests pulled out their phones to snap a photo of the duchess as she walked across the palace lawn.

royal welcome! Guests pulled out their phones to snap a photo of the duchess as she walked across the palace lawn.

So much to smile about!  The Duchess of Cambridge seemed animated as she spoke to guests in the garden.

The Duchess of Cambridge today

So much to smile about! The Duchess of Cambridge seemed animated as she spoke to guests in the garden.

Prince Edward represented his mother at the Buckingham Palace garden party, a day after meeting her at Paddington Station.

Prince Edward represented his mother at the Buckingham Palace garden party, a day after meeting her at Paddington Station.

The Duchess of Cambridge opted for a simple pair of dangling earrings and wore her hair up in a bun.

Kate at the Buckingham Palace Garden Party

The Duchess of Cambridge opted for a simple pair of dangling earrings and wore her hair up in a bun.

Joyful moment: Kate Middleton and Prince Edward shared a joke as they walked down the steps into the garden

Joyful moment: Kate Middleton and Prince Edward shared a joke as they walked down the steps into the garden

The Duchess of Cambridge smiled widely as she made her way from the palace through the crowd on the lawn.

The Duchess of Cambridge today

The Duchess of Cambridge smiled widely as she made her way through the crowds in the sunny palace garden.

A really good time!  Every year, the Queen invites 30,000 people to attend the festivities.  Around 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cake are consumed at each Garden Party.  In the picture, invited to today's event.

A really good time! Every year, the Queen invites 30,000 people to attend the festivities. Around 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cake are consumed at each Garden Party. In the picture, invited to today’s event.

Started in the 1860s by Queen Victoria, Buckingham Palace’s annual garden parties are a way to recognize and reward public service and see people from all walks of life enjoy tea on the lawn. with the sounds of a military band.

Every year, the Queen invites 30,000 people to attend the parties and in 2018, 8,000 guests attended the first soiree of the season. Around 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cake are consumed at each Garden Party.

For the occasion, men are asked to wear a morning suit or lounge suits, while women are invited to wear a “day dress, usually with hats or headdresses”.

This year there was also an ‘Annual Not Forgotten Association Garden Party’ which took place on 12 May and was hosted by Princess Anne, who is a patron of the charity.

The Not Forgotten Association provides entertainment, leisure and recreation for the wounded, wounded or sick in service and for disabled men and women who have served.

The organization’s Garden Party, which will also be held at Buckingham Palace, will bring together more than 2,000 beneficiaries of all ages and from all services.

It comes a day after Her Majesty's surprise appearance at the opening of the Elizabeth Line at London's Paddington Station, pictured, following her absence from the State Opening of Parliament last week.

It comes a day after Her Majesty’s surprise appearance at the opening of the Elizabeth Line at London’s Paddington Station, pictured, following her absence from the State Opening of Parliament last week.

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