Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie surprise picnic-goers as they wander through Buckingham Palace grounds 'I think we're going to have a carpet picnic upstairs,' Beatrice jokes Both sisters stopped to speak with lucky guests who secured free tickets for Diamond Jubilee picnic and concert
09:00 GMT, 5 June 2012
Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie made an impromptu visit to greet some of the 12,000 lucky guests who secured free tickets to the Diamond Jubilee picnic held within the Buckingham Palace grounds today.
But instead of taking to the damp lawns to join the 12,000 other partygoers the royal duo joked that they would be dining inside the Queen's official London residence.
Sally Bratt,52, from Hendon, north London claimed that Beatrice told her: 'I think we're going to have a carpet picnic upstairs.'
Beatrice opted for a bold Erdem peacock blue print dress (left) while Eugenie dressed in a bright red vintage gown from London boutique D & Me (right)
The 23-year-old royal, who opted for a bold Erdem peacock blue
print dress and Ferragamo blue wedge shoes, joked that she had yet to
receive a food-filled hamper and that she would be setting out a picnic inside the
Ms Bratt, who works as a teaching assistant, also had time to speak to both sisters about their experience of the Jubilee Pageant during which they sailed down the river Thames aboard the Havengore with their 52-year-old father Prince Andrew.
She added: 'They really enjoyed it yesterday. They said they had a great time.
'I had a chat with Prince Andrew too. He was talking about how the
guards came on the boat with their coats all soaked and smelling of wet
The Queen's granddaughters met
surprised concert-goers near the Garden Entrance of the monarch's home,
weaving their way through the crowds to welcome bystanders.
Eugenie, dressed in a bright red vintage dress from London boutique D & Me, declared: 'Hello everyone. Who are you all excited to see – apart from Granny'
As the sunshine came out from behind the crowds, Beatrice declared: 'It's a nice sunny day for it. It's perfect.'
Tim Douglas, from Ivy Bridge in Devon, said after meeting Beatrice: 'She liked the design of our picnic mat – Union flags. She said the weather yesterday at the pageant was typically British.'
Of the guests invited to the Diamond Jubilee concert at Buckingham Palace., 10,000 were ballot winners and a further 2,000 were from charities
Royal outing: Sophie, the Countess of Wessex also stopped to greet fans in the gardens of Buckingham Palace
Beatrice described the flotilla on the River Thames as 'great fun' while Eugenie, who took a peek into one of the picnic hampers, declared: 'They've got champagne and everything.'
Brian Greenwood, from York, said after meeting both Princesses: 'We were saying we were a bit disappointed by the weather yesterday. But they said it didn't really spoil things. It's a fantastic occasion.'
Almost every part of the lawn was covered with people. As the sun began to shine, some relaxed to the full, stretching and lying out on their picnic blankets.
Lucky Jubilee picnickers sat down to feast on a
five-course menu created by Heston Blumenthal ahead of a star-studded
concert to mark the Queen’s 60-year reign.at Buckingham Palace.
Those fortunate to bag a ticket to the much-anticipated event were treated to tea-smoked Scottish salmon – a modern take on coronation
Chicken – and Sandringham strawberry crumble crunch after spending several hours queuing down the Mall.
Lavish affair: A couple find a spot away from the crowds in the grounds of Buckingham Palace to enjoy their special five-course picnic
In the spirit of things: Partygoers opted for flamboyant attire as they geared up for celebrations at Buckingham Palace
Individual wicker hampers, jam-packed with culinary goods including a plastic poncho to stave off the
inevitable downpour, were handed
to the 12,000 partygoers as they entered the Queen's sizable garden.
Of the guests 10,000 were ballot
winners and a further 2,000 people were invited from charities
associated with the Royal Family.
Each picnicker was entitled to one alcoholic beverage and most wasted
no time in taking their vouchers to the drinks tent to collect their
flute of champagne or pint of Cobra beer.
sounds of classical music drifted across the gardens as the Royal
Academy of Music's Australian String Quartet began to play near the
VERDICT: HESTON BLUMENTHAL'S JUBILEE PICNIC
Debby Smith, 43, from Manchester, gave a mixed reaction to Blumenthal's Diamond Jubilee chicken, an update of Coronation chicken which was created to mark the Queen's coronation in 1953.
'I tried the little chicken dish and made it into a sandwich. I'm not a lover of Coronation chicken but it's certainly edible.'
Ladva, 42, a solicitor from
Sheffield, said: 'I feel so privileged to be here. It brings tears to
my eyes. The food is delicious. We had the lovely soup starter and the
coronation chicken is really creamy with sultanas.'
Beattie, 17, from Newcastle upon Tyne, was there with her 18-year-old
brother Steven. 'It feels surreal,' she said of being in the Palace.
Coronation Chicken, created to celebrate the
Queen’s coronation in 1953, was revamped and renamed by the experimental chef.
Diamond Jubilee Chicken features a
special blend of spices originally created for a previous television
programme he hosted about curry.
And as a
vegetarian option there was a mushroom parfait – a roasted mushroom puree blended
with a port, brandy and Madeira – and a chilled soup made with plum tomatoes, cucumber and garden mint oil
Seasonal crudites of celery, carrots and red peppers were included as side dishes.
Cairns, who baked Prince William and Kate’s wedding cake, created the two
cupcakes, lemon and caraway Madeira cake and a chocolate indulgence cake, aptly
decorated with a chocolate crown.
She chose to sprinkle one with Blumenthal’s
favourite finishing touch: popping candy.
The potted salmon recipe
included Lapsang Souchong tea-smoked salmon with creme fraiche, lemon
and fresh chives, while the Sandringham strawberry crumble crunch was crafted from a strawberry compote, meringue, whipping cream, natural
yoghurt, elderflower cordial and rosewater.
Heston's hamper: Coronation chicken, Heston style, crunch crudites, lemon and cardamon madeira cake, a cheeseboard featuring West Country farmhouse cheddar and Red Leicester crunch, and the Prince of Wales' Duchy Originals oat cakes
Carole Middleton and her youngest daughter Pippa also attended the palace picnic
Members of the public queue up to get into Buckingham Palace for the afternoon picnic and evening concert
The organic Florence
strawberries were grown on the Queen’s Sandringham Estate in Norfolk and
harvested and frozen last year in preparation for the picnic.
Debby Smith, 43, from Manchester, said: 'It's lovely, its beautiful. You can't believe you're here.'
tried the little chicken dish and made it into a sandwich. I'm not a
lover of Coronation chicken but it's certainly edible, it's very nice.'
cheeseboard featuring West Country farmhouse cheddar and Red Leicester
crunch was served with Duchy Originals and Waitrose chutney.
Duchy Originals was founded by the Prince of Wales in 1990.
All dishes were selected to be served cold because of the practicalities of catering to such a large number of picnickers.
Waitrose chefs worked with Blumenthal and the Queen’s royal chef Mark Flanagan in developing the selection.
While Blumenthal is famous for his scientific culinary tastes Mr Flanagan and his kitchen – who also catered for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding – maintain a more traditional approach.
Heston was interviewed outside Buckingham Palace by Sky News as guests tucked into his picnic
What's in the bag Sky News reporters opened their hamper to reveal the contents which were created by experimental chef Heston Blumenthal
Palatial setting: An aerial shot of Buckingham Palace and its grounds
Guests, selected via public ballot, could choose to drink Moet & Chandon Champagne, Cobra beer or Hildon water.
Backroom staff and organisers also get a hamper to eat during their lunch break.
In the hamper was a drinks token allowing guests to have either a glass of beer or bubbly.
But for one couple from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, champagne was the order of the day.
Irene and Shaun Doyle, both 67, were lucky ballot winners and travelled from their home for the big day.
Mr Doyle wasted no time in securing himself a glass of champagne then settled down with his wife on the lawn in the middle of thousands of other picnickers.
'Champagne reaches the parts that beer doesn't,' he joked.
'The walk through that palace is unbelievable, it's a dream. When the guy rang us I said “What are you on”. We were just in the middle of our tea.'
Mrs Doyle said: 'We said “Do you think it's someone kidding us” but now I'm drinking champagne in the Queen's garden.'
you taken any pictures of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations
From The Thames to your town to last night's concert, we want to see them. Send them for
publication – with lots of caption detail – to Mail Online on the
email address: [email protected]
A woman takes her glass of free champagne during the Buckingham Palace celebration
Pam Smith, who celebrated her 60th birthday today, praised the event (left) while Jayne Littlewood and her mother Anne Randle pose for photos (right)
A FEAST FIT FOR A QUEEN: HESTON'S ROYAL JUBILEE HAMPER MENU
The contents of the Diamond Jubilee picnic produced by Heston Blumenthal with Royal Chef Mark Flanagan
Chilled country garden soup with baby plum tomatoes & mint-infused oilLapsang Souchong tea-smoked Scottish salmonDiamond Jubilee chicken – with a secret blend of Indian spice, mayonnaise, coriander & nigella seedsThe vegetarian option is Mushroom parfait with roasted mushroom puree blended
with a port, brandy & Madeira reduction
Sandringham Strawberry Crumble Crunch – featuring fruit from the Queen’s own estate, meringue, cream & an oat-crumble toppingChocolate cupcake topped with little gold crowns & Heston's favourite popping candyLemon & caraway Madeira cupcakeA cheeseboard featuring West Country farmhouse cheddar & Red Leicester, Prince Charles' Duchy Originals oats biscuits & harvest chutney
12 Hand wipesClear plastic cutlery & napkinDiamond Jubilee ponchoUnion flagVouchers which can be exchanged for a glass of Moet & Chandon Champagne, Cobra beer or Hildon water