I asked my wife to pinch me yesterday as we walked through the gates at Buckingham Palace on our way by foot to The Royal Garden Party. We’d panicked for weeks about the weather (we needn’t have).
As we stepped onto the camomile infused lawn – it was certainly infused with tea after several thousand guests had finished drinking tea and eating the Queen’s cakes – I couldn’t help but feel proud to have received such kind and generous invite. To represent my company (Haith’s) and it’s dedicated team who do great work in the UK and service eighteen international markets was my (and my wife’s) delight. And here’s the thing, just about everyone I spoke to at the Palace was proud to be there. We heard so many unselfish stories about the work people were doing with non profits, military, business and individuals who’d decided to take action and do something good for others.
I’ll be writing a more detailed piece about the visit, but suffice to say the gardens were absolutely stunning. I particularly liked the idea of leaving large areas wild to encourage more wildlife.
This sounds like a wonderful day. How lovely that the sun shone too.
Quite apart from enjoying the atmosphere, the mix of people, and the cakes, some bearing a crown, you seem to have had a chance to experience the natural beauty of the grounds, especially the lake. Maxwell Knight was one of the team that carried out a natural history survey of Buckingham Palace, at the request of the Queen, in the early 1960s. Their findings were published by the South London Entomological and Natural History Society (SLENHS) in 1963 and Maxwell Knight’s own, annotated, copy of the final report is in the replacement filing cabinet that now houses so many of his treasured possessions.
How happy Maxwell Knight would be that the gardens of Buckingham Palace continue to be a haven for wildlife and, as we see from your fine set of photos, that coots and other birds still nest on the lake. He would also be pleased to read your comment that “just about everyone I spoke to at the Palace was proud to be there. We heard so many unselfish stories about the work people were doing with non profits, military, business and individuals who’d decided to take action and do something good for others”. Those of us who knew Maxwell Knight attest to his kindness and his concern for people – and, of course, for their long-term survival and wellbeing on this planet. In the present era of political and social wrangling he would take great comfort in your observations on the sort of people who, like you, were not only able to appreciate the beauty of the Buckingham Palace gardens but are still actively contributing to national unity and confidence in the future.
We hope and assume that your wife Jo enjoyed the day as much as you obviously did. Our love and best wishes to her.” [SHK: she certainly did thank you].
John and Margaret (Cooper)
17th May 2019