MA members enjoy Royal Garden Parties after three-year hiatus One of the most popular invitations of the year 31 May 2022 Every year, The Queen hosts three Royal Garden Parties at Buckingham Palace as a way of recognising and celebrating those who undertake public service. After an almost three-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, our members were once again invited to attend this year’s parties. One of the most popular invitations of the year, these events are unique, exciting and give our members the chance to celebrate with a people from all walks of life who have made a positive impact in their community. The MA is privileged to receive around 120 invitations a year from our patron, The Queen. One of the benefits we offer our members is a series of national events that give members a chance to meet, collaborate and network with their peers. This includes hosting a reception at our head office before each party to allow attendees to begin their day with refreshments, meet other magistrates and take commemorative photos before they set off for the palace. We thoroughly enjoy connecting with attendees – the members whom our branches have selected to attend, plus MA award winners. Here, Wendy McIntosh (Lancashire MA branch member) and Steve Vear MBE (Wessex MA branch secretary) share their experience of this year's parties. “We received our invitation to the Royal Garden Party in 2019, but it took a couple of years to get there due to the pandemic. It was, of course, worth the wait. On 18 May, we first went to the MA’s head office to meet up with other attending magistrates. It was lovely to meet people from all over the country and MA staff. They had done an amazing job organising everything for us. We had a buffet and drinks, and then we were off to the palace in a minibus. My colleagues from the Lancashire MA had given me lots of helpful tips, such as the best place to stand to see the royals and to ensure I wore sensible shoes. Everything was incredibly well organised. We had the best afternoon tea, a band was playing, and we had a walk around Buckingham Palace’s gardens. We managed to see The Duchess of Cambridge, The Earl and Countess of Wessex and the Queen’s cousin, Princess Alexandra, who I believe has close links to Lancashire. All in all, a fantastic day!” Wendy McIntosh “Having been invited to the palace for my investiture back in 2019, I never thought I would get the chance to return again as a guest. It was particularly special to be able to attend during the Platinum Jubilee year. We were really excited to be able to make a day of it by attending the reception put on by the wonderful MA team. It was such a lovely way to start the day, meeting not only fellow magistrates but also the staff that work so hard on our behalf. At the palace, the Royal Family was out in force. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Earl and Countess of Wessex, Princess Eugenie and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester all gave up their time to thank us for our voluntary work. It was such an amazing afternoon, and a real pleasure to be able to attend and meet some wonderful people. As magistrates, we don't do what we do for reward; but, I am incredibly grateful to the Magistrates’ Association for giving me the chance to enjoy some tea and cake in the grounds of Buckingham Palace.” Steve Vear MBE If you are also interested in attending a Royal Garden Party, then you may wish to contact your branch chair to find out how your branch decides who can attend. The MA leaves it up to each branch to decide on this. However, we do give out tickets to individuals who win awards too. So, if you would like to nominate someone for an MA award and give someone a chance to attend this prestigious event next year, please do so. Previous Article Could you represent us on a Training, Approvals, Authorisations and Appraisals Committee? Next Article Five ways magistrates benefit society Print Tags: Members only Events Membership Royal Garden Parties royal garden party Please login or register to post comments.